Leaders

Millennials Aren’t Getting Jobs, But Unqualified, American Leaders Are

Author: Mary Grace Donaldson, Current Events/Politics

It’s no secret that millennials are looking for jobs, and attempting to forge stable careers, in a difficult market. Just look at the numbers.

As of March 2016, a Generation Opportunity report states that 12.8% of millennials ages 18-29 were unemployed. A May 2017 report from CNBC discusses how millennials are stereotyped as “job-hoppers,” but the reasons are not what they appear on the outside. Almost 90% of millennials indicated that they would stay in a job for more than ten years if promised salary increases, as well as “upward career mobility.” But, seeing as 36% left a job they liked to move on to a company where a better opportunity was offered, it can be deduced that collectively, we millennials aren’t getting those increases and mobility that we desire, and deserve.

While millennials continue to struggle in the job market, America has been watching as both elected and appointed leaders, with little to know experience in their respective fields, are essentially taking jobs that they are not qualified for.

 

Donald Trump 
Ah, the seemingly obvious example. Trump may have talked about hypothetically running for office back in 1987, but he didn’t actively start campaigning, and putting his metaphorical ducks in a row until 2015. In other words, he talked about being President, just as children do when they’re young, but did not prepare himself for the job through acquiring the correct education and training. His lack of foreign policy experience, as well as political experience as a whole, made him a completely unqualified and unfit candidate — not to mention the Twitter rants that took away (and continue to take away) from his legitimacy as a role model for the American people. This tweet kind of sums it up:

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Steve Bannon 
While Bannon isn’t part of the “White House Gang” anymore, his appointment as Trump’s Chief Strategist caused many to scratch their heads. He possesses a great deal of political knowledge, but his political resume (you know, where you actually list jobs showing that you have worked in the political sphere) left little to be desired. Prior to Trump’s election, Bannon worked as his campaign manager. After Election Day, his new title was that of Senior Counselor. While Bannon admirably served our country as a naval officer, his true forte came when he “found success in entertainment finance.” What’s Bannon up to now? He’s back at his old gig as CEO of white supremacist news outlet Breitbart. The questions to be raised here? Why any President would appoint a known white supremacist supporter to any position, and why someone who made his success creating political documentaries would be offered the job of Chief Strategist.

Jim Bridenstine 
Trump’s pick for the head of NASA has a bit of political experience. He has served as a Republican congressman representing his home state of Oklahoma since 2012, and also held the job of Executive Director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum and Planetarium. He has also served our country as a Navy combat pilot, and currently continues his service as a member of the Oklahoma Air National Guard. Not a bad resume, right? But… one would think that the potential head of NASA would have some experience with, well, space. And Bridenstine doesn’t have that. Being a “big fan of the moon” does not a head of NASA make, and neither does reluctance to “study the climate.”

Sam Clovis
Just a tip: the possible Chief Scientist of the United States Department of Agriculture should actually be… a scientist. And Clovis isn’t one. Sure, his credentials are impressive, as credentials generally go — “he holds a doctorate, but it’s in public administration, and not a scientific discipline.” What else is on Clovis’ resume? Creation of a blog that published posts indicating that homosexuality is a choice, and known opposition to farmers, a population that largely relies on the USDA. So, some very bad publicity, as well as a known grudge against what would be a key part of his constituency in this job.

 

The takeaways? We millennials should all become President because we once mentioned, possibly as children, that we’d like to be President one day. We should put together poorly produced documentaries about our non-inclusive political beliefs, and then, we’d be appointed to a very important office within the Cabinet. We should make it known how much we love something and then should be asked to be the head of a department. And, we should look to be appointed to positions that are very different than our respective backgrounds.

Instead, we are networking through any means necessary, tirelessly revising our resumes, and hoping that one unusual experience will be the thing that will land us the jobs we truly deserve.

 

Disclaimer: The political views presented in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Not Another Millennial Blog. 

[Blank] My Life web series

[Blank] My Life

Author: Mary Grace Donaldson, Entertainment

Millennials, we’ve seen many forms of entertainment that have been created as a result of newer technologies available to us. Thanks to YouTube and increased video capabilities, the web series is a format in which we’ve been able to create full seasons of shows at a lower budget than a television show would need.

As is the case with any type of media, some of these series are for niche viewing. Others however, are very relatable to millennials, and to the things we go though in all aspects of life, some on a daily basis.

Enter [Blank] My Life. A web series that truly covers it all.

“It started as slices of my life, or things I thought about,” said Alex Spieth, the series’ creator. “My character, Susan, grows up, falls in love with her boyfriend, and decides to leave New York. When I first started the show, it was a reaction to the year I’d just had. But what I’m thinking about doing now is different that what I was thinking about then.”

Before starting production of the series, Spieth, like many other millennials, struggled with the transition from college to adult life, which gave her a lot of inspiration for the show.

“As an actor, I had an agent right after college,” she said. “I was dropped after a year. I have always been a Type-A personality, and this was the first time that I had to examine what I had to do. I asked myself, have I been lied to? Have I been deluding myself? I needed something to remind me that I had something to offer.”

So, why should we watch it? 

It deals with today’s dating scene 
We all know how that can go sometimes, right? Remember that Valentine’s Day that you spent doing anything but something romantic? The main character spends one Valentine’s Day babysitting — and not for a well-behaved child, either. It also deals with the online dating struggle, which is relatable to so many of us. And remember that time that you had to deal with your ex, after you had broken up? There’s an episode for that. And it’s just as awkward as you’d think.

It addresses making good decisions, versus making bad ones
In that very same episode in which the main character goes on a dinner date with her ex, said ex is portrayed as the devil. In other words, spending time with that ex is a bad decision, and she needed to be reminded of that fact throughout. We’ve all been there. We’ve all needed to remember why that person is an ex in the first place, or why we shouldn’t rebound so quickly, or why we shouldn’t post that picture.

It understands your work struggle
You know that bad day at work (or maybe bad days? weeks? months?) where whatever could go wrong, did go wrong? You spilt coffee on your white shirt, your desk phone rang off the hook while you had millions of other things to do, you ended up cleaning up after your colleagues who left a coffee pod in the Keurig again, you were interrupted by outside visitors (outside visitors? what does that even mean?), and maybe you were just a little hungover? This show gets it. It gets all of it.

It confronts some of the most difficult, as well as the most important, issues in our society  
On a much more serious note, [Blank] My Life brings the important issues to the forefront of the conversation. One episode shows the scary truths about how rapes can happen anywhere, including on college campuses, and showcases the main character’s experiences with it. Another looks at mental health head-on. The main character finds herself with her life in a state of despair. She also has scary experiences, including hallucinations, brought on by certain situations. She contemplates leaving her now home in New York City, to see if it will improve both her life and, in turn, her health. While much of the above is often considered taboo to talk about in a public setting, it’s so important that the conversations around these difficult issues continue.

So, what’s next for the series? Is there more to look forward to?
“We’re in the process of writing the next season,” Spieth said. “The past two seasons have been done piecemeal, and we don’t want to do that this time around. We’ll be filming in Pittsburgh next, and we really want to feel like this is ‘our project.’ We’re looking to do a movie, and we want to more that I haven’t already tried.”

 

Follow [Blank] My Life on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

sensitive

When Your Sensitivity Gets In the Way

Adulting, Author: Mary Grace Donaldson

“Leave your emotions at the door.” 

It’s a phrase that you may have heard over and over, and it’s possible that for you, it’s an easy concept. You’re the type of person who can walk into work, or any social situation, and separate your emotions and your personal or professional life. You can leave them at the door, in a corner, in a box — pick your metaphor.

But when you’re very sensitive, it’s not always the easiest concept to wrap your head around. Maybe that fight with your roommate that you had in the morning, before you left for work, was more than you could handle, and you cried throughout the majority of your commute. Or multiple criticisms from your boss led to you fighting back tears while trying to give the appearance that you were just sitting in your cubicle, minding your own business, totally unaffected. But, you fail miserably. Even when all of the career advice books and articles you’ve read tell you otherwise, you head for the second floor bathroom and return with red-rimmed eyes and a puffy nose. And then, you feel all the more self-conscious, because the evidence is all over your face.

Unfortunately, you can’t go through life giving in to every single situation that could potentially lead to an emotional reaction. Sometimes, being able to feel so deeply can get in the wayand it can be to your detriment.

But, how can you make sure that your feelings, sensitivity, and emotions don’t get away of your tasks, whether they are personal or professional?

Step away for a bit
Get in tune with your emotional reactions, and learn to sense when one is coming. If you’re able to catch it before it arrives, don’t bury it, but instead, step away from the situation that’s causing it. Take your lunch break. Walk to the bathroom before it’s obvious that you’ve walked out the door in tears. Go for a drive. Have a snack and drink some water. Then, come back to the situation. Chances are, you’ll see it with a fresh, less emotional perspective. And you won’t be reacting in the heat of the moment, which will just make things worse.

Know your limit
If you know you have a lot of emotions and you’ve hit the point where you’ll know you won’t be productive due to the extenuating circumstances, don’t try to force it. I’ve used my paid time off to take a mental health day, and by the time I went back to work the next day, I’d processed everything that happened outside of work, to the point that I could focus on what was in front of me. Remember your self-care, and that includes knowing when to take a step back, and focusing on yourself for a bit.

Stand clear of emo music, violent movies, and the news
We all loved 2000s emo music, but when you’re feeling particularly sensitive, emo lyrics are actually not going to help you. Violent movies and TV shows also won’t do you any good, either. In fact by listening to that music or watching those types of shows, you’ll likely end up having even more feelings that you just don’t know what to do with. And while it’s important to stay informed, the times in which you are feeling particularly emotional are really not the times that you need to be processing news.

Write, write, write
And the best part of it all? If you don’t want anyone to read it, they don’t have to. It’s up to you. No one’s going to judge your private thoughts, when they’re written in a place where only you can see and read them later on. Just getting these thoughts out on paper can be beneficial to you. When you name the thoughts, you give them life, and you can then figure out how to process them. But, if you’re one to publicize your thoughts, go for it, and create a space for yourself by starting a blog, so long as it’s appropriate, of course.

Talk to someone who gets it
You know what’s better than one person who has a lot of feelings? Two people with lots of feelings. Chances are you’ll make the other person cry upon telling your tale of the fight you had with your roommate, or the nasty remark your boss made, or the fact that you saw that damned Sarah McLaughlin ASPCA commercial again. But you’ll cry together.

Betsy DeVos

Betsy DeVos and Title IX: There’s No Room for “Review”

Author: Mary Grace Donaldson, Current Events/Politics

So, millennials, what do we know about Betsy DeVos, so far?

We remember she was branded unqualified by many when she was first appointed Education Secretary at the beginning of Trump’s term as President. We remember the uproar that then occurred. We remember her calling for more school choice at the beginning of 2017.

And, we will also remember DeVos as the Education Secretary who decided that policies originally put in place to help prevent sexual assault on college campuses needed “reviewing.”

In 2011, the Obama Administration, as reported by former Vice President Joe Biden during a speech at the University of New Hampshire, revamped the rules that were originally in place as a part of Title IX.

“We are the first administration to make it clear that sexual assault is not just a crime, it can be a violation of a woman’s civil rights,” Biden noted in his speech.

On April 4, 2011 — the same day as Biden’s speech at UNH — the Obama Administration released a statement outlining its new Title IX guidelines.

“If a school knows or reasonably should know about student-on-student harassment that creates a hostile environment, Title IX requires the school to take immediate action to eliminate the harassment, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects,” the statement read.

Sounds more than reasonable, right? Fighting to protect potential victims of sexual assault (on college campuses, but in the hopes that these 2011 measures could be a catalyst for other settings) was, and is, beyond common sense. No student of any gender should have to live in fear. No person should have to even comprehend preparedness for this grotesque violation of human rights.

But, DeVos took matters into her own hands. Initially, her speech, given at the George Mason University campus in Arlington, Virginia, sounded as though it was in line with the original, common sense mission of the Title IX guidelines that were in place already.

“One rape is one too many, one assault is one too many, one aggressive act of harassment is one too many, one person denied due process is one too many,” DeVos said in her September 7, 2017 speech.

Wait… one person denied due process? Is she referring to possible perpetrators of sexual assault being denied due process? It turns out that she is. And, later in that same speech, she indicated that “if everything is harassment, then nothing is.”

Yes, potential suspects have been wrongfully accused in sexual assault cases. It’s happened, and it’s happened too many times. And, by legal definition, harassment is “the act of systematic and/or continued unwanted and annoying actions of one party or a group, including threats and demands. The purposes may vary, including racial prejudice, personal malice, an attempt to force someone to quit a job or grant sexual favors, apply illegal pressure to collect a bill, or merely gain sadistic pleasure from making someone fearful or anxious.” Just by virtue of its definition, not “everything is harassment.” 

All of that said, the message that is sent from DeVos’ “review” of Title IX guidelines is that female students’ voices will no longer be heard in the event of a sexual assault. According to a 2015 report from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, more than 90% of sexual assault victims on college campuses did not report the incident upon its occurrence. And that was in 2015, when the Title IX guidelines were very much in place. As a result of this message, that rate could potentially increase.

Our leaders should be encouraging students to report incidents, rather than keep them to themselves, wondering if they’ll be believed. The fact that false reporting occurs frequently should not be a basis in which reporting is discouraged altogether. We must continue to keep the very unfortunate reality that sexual assault occurs on college campuses, and in many other places, in the conversation. And we can’t rest until there is no longer a reason to fear.

 

Disclaimer: The political views presented in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Not Another Millennial Blog.

Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America (Betsy DeVos) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

DACA

It’s Not Their Fault: What the End of DACA Truly Means, and What We Can Do to Speak Up

Author: Mary Grace Donaldson, Current Events/Politics

September 5, 2017: After weeks and months of hearing about the possibility, AG Jeff Sessions announced the official end of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. New applications end immediately, and those already protected by DACA will lose any related benefits within six months.

What does DACA allow for?
According to the Department of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, DACA was first established as an option on June 15, 2012. “The Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal,” the department’s website states. “They are also eligible for work authorization. Deferred action is a use of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action against an individual for a certain period of time. Deferred action does not provide lawful status.” In other words, immigrants who came to the United States as children, with their families, without any knowledge that they were not coming to the country legally, could request time to make their citizenship legal before facing deportation. They could work in the United States without fear, while working toward to get their affairs in order.

Why the apparent need to end DACA?
“Many members of President Trump’s inner circle believe that DACA is unconstitutional,” ThinkProgress states. In his announcement, Sessions indicated that DACA violates immigration laws, that “failure to enforce the laws in the past has put our nation at risk of crime, violence, and even terrorism.”

Without DACA, what will happen?
Approximately 800,000 people are protected under DACA. About 300,000 of that 800,000 would lose their status, and right to work, by 2018. Some of those 800,000 will be separated from their families through no fault of their own. Many went to college, received their driver’s licenses, and were afforded opportunities “beyond low-wage jobs where no official paperwork is filled,” according to The Washington PostAs we are discussing 800,000 people, these examples only touch the surface.

Are there other solutions in the works?
House Speaker Paul Ryan issued a statement, in which he addressed the need for a “permanent legislative solution that includes ensuring that those who have done nothing wrong can still contribute as a valued part of this great country.” He indicates that DACA was never meant as a long-term solution to the problem of citizenship status for childhood arrivals.

Is it time to speak up?
While it’s great to hear about the hope of a long-term solution, the fact remains that there are still 800,000 people who arrived in the United States as children, without any knowledge of their citizenship status. Their situation is not, nor has it ever been, their collective fault. And as such, the need to speak up in their defense remains. There’s a reason why we have multiple branches of government, and that’s for the purposes of checks and balances. DACA, and the the establishment of a long-term solution, are not only in the hands of Trump and Sessions — they have to go though Congress. Congress has six months to, as they say, figure it out. And while new applications were stopped, there are still six months to call your Congressman. Tell your elected officials that 800,000 people deserve a chance — whether that chance comes in the form of DACA, or in the form of a new legislative solution.

 

Disclaimer: The political views presented in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Not Another Millennial Blog.

Photo courtesy of Joe Frazier (Latinx Rally – Defend DACA!) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons