The ‘Hustle Mentality’ is Ruining the Millennial and Z Generation

In a world where everyone wants to be an  entrepreneur that made six- figures in less than a year,  every meme under the girl boss hashtag would suggest none of that would be possible without a “hustle mentality.” The latest trend of having a hustle mentality is praised, but not exactly explained for what it truly is and its side effects.

The dictionary defines “hustle” as busy movement or activity. In today’s society, the hustle mentality is the drive to be successful by working hard no matter what the cost. Sounds pretty understandable, right? Everyone wants to be successful. But this idea that you must be successful, specifically at a young age is ruining the millennial and Z Generation.

If you were born in either the late millennial generation or the early years of the Z generation then you’re either in college, recently graduated, in your career or floating somewhere in between. It’s a very important time for these two generations seeing as millennials are the largest working generation in the United States and Generation Z is not far behind. It’s no secret that jobs can be a great source of stress but studies show that millennials suffer from more work-related depression than any other generation.

Social media plays a huge role in fostering this hustle mentality, as well. Think of it like success FOMO. You see your friend posting that they just received their dream job or bought their first house. They’re around the same age as you, so why aren’t you as successful as them? To compare success might make someone feel like they aren’t doing enough or making enough money.

These unhealthy comparisons cause a chain reaction where people become selfish and self-absorbed. Instead of being outward focused,  people turn inward creating issues with self-worth and self-esteem. As a result, if it doesn’t benefit them immediately, most people are unwilling to work with others. Business relationships that sometimes take months and years and establish aren’t being made anymore. People want immediate results and aren’t willing to put in the time at a company or with a client. 

The hustle mentality also encourages a lot of unrealistic expectations. More millennial and Z Generation entrepreneurs start business ventures every day. While it’s nothing wrong with wanting to have your own business, everyone simply cannot be a business owner. There has been an influx of fashion boutiques, hair/cosmetic companies, and social media influencers within the past decade but we still need millennials to become doctors, lawyers, teachers etc. We need secretaries and people that have the desire to work in a corporate office setting, as well. 

Being a hustler usually involves making things happen by any means necessary. That means going to work early and staying late. That also means missing birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. It’s glorified to work in seclusion until 3 a.m. as if it’s linked to some form of dedication. However, where is the concern for the effects of long hours with no sleep without other human interactions?  There is a constant pressure to be doing more and making more to “get ahead,” even if that means your health suffers.

At this rate, both generations are burning out before it’s even time for retirement. This is why millennials are referred to as the nostalgia generation. They long for the time before hopes of achieving the American Dream were crushed. The struggle between wanting to be financially stable and wanting to rebel against expectations has had an extremely negative effect on the physical and mental health of both generations. Yet all of these results are commended and treated as what comes with working hard, hustling.

In an effort to ditch the hustle mentality, some individuals are opting out of traditional office jobs and trying to find careers where they can have a healthy work-life balance. Many people freelance or work from home but these types of positions aren’t always available or well paid. Still, the economy is in a much different state than it was during your grandparents’ generation. People must work in order to live and finding the balance is not an easy task. ultimately, leading us to leveraging ourselves and health for “success.”  

Jordan Bennett

"You can’t make decisions based on fear and the possibility of what might happen." - Michelle Obama

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