Student debt is a big deal for many millennials.
That “educational investment” yield a lower ROI than expected?
Over 40 million Americans currently struggle with student loans, with the national burden of federal student debt rising over $1 trillion.
The average student debt load for today’s millennials recently registered at over $35,000 – a financial obligation that can put the “no-go” on many costly life events, such as getting married, having kids, and buying a home. A 2015 survey by Bankrate indicated that 56 percent of people ages18 to 29 have put off major life events – even purchasing a car and saving for retirement – because of student debt.
Many of you may be thinking, “Yep – that’s me!”
Few professional communities experience the un- and underemployment rates of today’s military spouses and caregivers.
At present, over 90 percent of military spouses are un-/underemployed, earning a mere fraction of what their civilian counterparts are able to bring in.
As a recently transitioned military spouse, I can attest that the job outlook doesn’t exactly improve when your family moves into the veteran community, especially if you’re tasked with post-war caregiving.
Such realities are the unfortunate plight of many members of the current military community. Some studies cite the ever-growing civilian-military divide, others blame poorly constructed workplace policies as the source of such widespread discrimination.
While I hope the employment struggles of today’s military and veteran families will resolve through effective community and government initiatives, the reality for many military spouses is that they need a job, like, yesterday.
You’re a family caregiver, providing must-have supportive care for an aged, chronically-ill, and/or disabled loved one.
You’re lonely, stressed, and tired.
The long-term nature of caregiving that so often accompanies today’s current healthcare system leaves you wondering if you have what it takes to keep all the plates spinning.
It wouldn’t take much – one more unexpected hospitalization, one more secondary infection, one more medical procedure denied by insurance – for all the plates to come crashing down on the floor.
If you’re like millions of other family caregivers, you worry about your loved one, you feel ill-equipped to provide 24/7 caregiving services, and you feel really, really alone. Continue Reading…
This post is brought to you on behalf of the Forté Foundation. The content does not necessarily reflect the views of the Forté Foundation.
Until ten years ago, I had never actually met a professional woman – an educated female that made a living wage. Growing up in fundamentalism, I was raised in a culture that did not acknowledge gender equality and restricted women to very limited roles as wives and mothers. I had no idea what developing a career involved or even how to get started. The majority of my homeschool education had been focused on the domestic arts – childcare, cooking, cleaning, etc. – and neglected subjects like math, science, and finance (all the things you wouldn’t find in the job description for a housewife).
My junior year of college, I finally encountered a real-life professional woman – a visiting professor of biochemistry. She was confident, educated, and owned her own house. I knew I wanted to be just like her, but I had no idea how to get there.
During a workplace seminar I recently attended, a member of the audience asked the speaker, “Why do millennials want the flexible work environments?”
The speaker replied, “Because they don’t want to work! Millennials don’t want to work.”
As one of the only millennials in the crowded event space, my interest was piqued by the speaker’s response and the subsequent non-millennial audience reception. The speaker and audience conversation continued dogging millennial employees, citing Generation Y’s preference for remote working opportunities and their engagement in the gig economy as sufficient evidence for the unfounded argument that millennials are inherently “lazy”, “have immature values”, and “lack sufficient work ethic”.
As a career-minded millennial that’s built her entire career through virtual work out of necessity (I am also a full-time caregiver to my spouse who was injured serving our country in Afghanistan), I was quite troubled to hear this discourse among industry leaders regarding generational misconceptions and ill-informed consensus regarding flexible work opportunities that can lead to mass discrimination within our caregiving community.
Can you believe that summer is almost over?
Technically, my summer came to an end with the first day of fall semester classes. I went from riding horses every day to lecturing college students on business and technology. The annual change from a life in cowboy boots to sensible pumps is always a little drastic. I’m still getting saddle time in the afternoons and evenings, just spending most of my mornings discussing economic trends and marketing strategies.
Summer 2017 wasn’t exactly an awesome season for me thanks to unexpected surgeries, moving, and other not-so-glam events. I initially didn’t think the season warranted its very own blog post; however, jotting down a few of the highlights has reminded me that headlining summers don’t have to include Caribbean cruises and blowout weddings. Some – like this past summer – involve some pretty cool, albeit not-so-Instagram-worthy events that shape the year that follows.
So, as we usher in the autumn breath of color changes, football games, and harvest season, here’s five highlights from the Summer of 2017:
The gig economy and its “freeing” freelancing gets a lot of headlines these days.
Promotional campaigns spotlighting the ultimate career woman raking in thousands of dollars from the comfort of her chic designed home office have many young professionals wondering, “Is the commute worth it?” or “Could freelancing be my escape from Cubicleville”?
With my hard-earned MBA in hand, I hit the freelancing market with gusto, eager to get a jump on all my graduating peers (and my always-accruing-interest student loans).
For months, I’d read everything I could find on this wondrous world of freelancing, been mesmerized by hours of inspiring ad campaigns, and spent many a late night perfecting my freelancer profile. I was certain that I’d done everything “right” to pull an MBA hourly with just my laptop and make-shift office; but things didn’t go as planned.
What do you think of when you hear the term “mental health”?
Do you have visions of barbaric psychiatric hospitals from America’s past?
Do you become uncomfortable, afraid someone will either start discussing something you don’t want to talk about, or fearful you’ll say something insensitive and stupid in response?
Do you avoid discussing mental health because it’s a topic that we’ve learned to avoid at all costs, in order to dodge unfortunate discrimination and social isolation?
Nearly 44 million American adults–1 in 5 Americans—are affected by a mental health condition in any given year; yet, as a society, we refuse to talk about it.
Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher that lived a century before Plato, is credited with saying, “The only thing that is constant is change.”
Most of us have experienced tumultuous transition times during our lives.
Sometimes it’s for something exciting, like a new job, a new relationship, or even a new hobby.
Other times, the changes aren’t that awesome, such as the loss of a loved one, organizational downsizing, and moving into a crappy rental.
“Good” or “bad” changes, stress almost always accompanies major life transitions.
Are you nodding your head “Yes” right now? Have you recently experienced big changes in your life? Continue Reading…
I’ve been taking pictures since Polaroids were a thing.
The whole “Smile! Flash! Shake!” was a pivotal part of my childhood, as I’d set up neighborhood “photo booths” charging kids a quarter for a “Glamour Shot” (in my defense, I had an impressive collection of Disney Princess inspired boas). Eventually, my early photographic style evolved into one that could be classified as more “photojournalistic”; however, that’s not how my neighbors saw it when I climbed over their fence and “documented” their family BBQ from the bushes.
In high school, I had the opportunity to take a few photography classes, but we amateur photographers were still processing film, as the digital option were priced well above my “after school job” budget. Taking photos got real expensive, real quick, so I had to limit the hobby to special occasions, shooting film only a few times a year. Continue Reading…