A Millennial Perspective: “Being Grateful” in a Tough Economy

Yes! I am that recent college graduate who excelled with Cum Laude Honors, participated vigorously in extracurricular activities, and experienced constant employment throughout my college years.

I’m also that recent college graduate struggling to secure a salaried position, who lacks the financial stability to cover basic expenses, and has trouble balancing emotional and physical wellness.

This is a topic that many of my peers don’t really talk about – yet it’s a critical source of motivation for Millennials in the same position I find myself being grateful in a tough economy.

It’s about reminding yourself how wonderful your life already is even after dozens of rejected job applications. It’s about seeing opportunities around every corner… even if it feels like the entire world is against you. It’s how you can always turn a failure… into a success.

So what – in addition to my family, friends, professional networks, and other support systems – keeps my engine going?

I Am Thankful for Everything I Have

There is a roof over my head, I eat reasonably healthy and exercise semi-regularly, I am currently employed, and I have people close to me who care and love me deeply. I know quite a few people who have less than me… and who are very content with life. I know many who seem to have a lot more than me… yet seem dissatisfied with everything.

By expressing gratitude for what you already have, you’ll maintain a positive attitude. As a result, my engagements in interviews and networking events are more genuine.

I Have a “Today Will Be Amazing!” Attitude

I am not talking about religious beliefs. Instead, I’m talking about simple activities that positively reinforce life.

I practice yoga, consume short readings every morning from a motivational book, and wake up every day telling myself “today will be another amazing day!” While these activities do align with my family’s Buddhist beliefs, I practice being grateful because I feel emotionally and physically great. Far from being a Pollyanna, this positive disposition just takes an open mind and maybe a few minutes in your daily routine.

After practicing this affirming activity just once, you’ll be surprised how much more positive energy you generate Look for your peers and coworkers to notice your upbeat presence!.

I Take Healthy Escapes from Reality

As a budget-minded, outdoor enthusiast I recently finished backpacking across the Grand Canyon. Being outside in mother nature and remaining 100% unplugged for several days at a time takes away all the stress associated with contemporary society and urban living.

These mini-escapes also allow me to appreciate how amazing the world is… so when I return back to the bustling streets of America, I feel completely recharged and refreshed enough to tackle anything!

Following these steps allowed those in my networks to comfortably approach me; brothers from my professional fraternity saw my positive attitude and offered invaluable advice. The result; two offers of employment with Enterprise Rent a Car and Farmer’s Insurance. Even after all my numerous denied job applications, my grateful, positive attitude was a primary decision point with both firms.

When you have exhausted all external resources, try asking yourself:

Despite all your challenges, what are you grateful for today?



About the Author: Michael Liu is a recent CSUS business graduate with experience in managing student organizations and business analytics. He is often described as an extremely analytical, rational-risk-taker. His family’s entrepreneurial background inspires him to build his own business someday. When not building his future empire, Michael enjoys reading about technological developments, engaging taste buds with various cuisines, traversing the great outdoors and overcoming self-defeating ways of thinking. Follow Michael on Twitter!



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