Mid 20’s through to your late 30’s could arguably be some of the most formidable years of one’s life. It’s a time where self discovery, career progression, relationships, travel, buying a house and starting a family are all front of mind. That is the stage of life most Millennials find themselves currently in and adding a pandemic to the mix has really upped the ante.
With 250k people losing jobs in the space of 24hrs the impacts of Melbourne's stage 4 lockdown are being felt across the board and Millennials are no exception. However, most of us feel like we’re needing to suffer in silence because there’s someone else worse off. Being mortgage free, child free and living in inner city Melbourne might seem like we have no serious complaints of lockdown. Financially and logistically we don’t currently face the same challenges as parents trying to balance work and homeschooling, or uncertainty over the ability to service a mortgage - but that doesn’t mean we’re getting off scot free.
After years of trial and error many of us finally felt like we’d found solid ground in our careers, but now we’re having the rug pulled from under us as we watch entire industries crumble and our exorbitant HEC’s debts are sitting on the sidelines with a front row seat.
Millennials who are typically very goal driven in their careers are feeling like their hands are tied and they can’t currently work towards what they may have initially envisioned. A recent study from the International Consultants Centre (ICC) found that “69% of Millennials thrive when they’re being challenged a great deal or a lot” so it makes sense that motivation is declining as we’re feeling less engaged professionally. (More of ICC’s study.)
The flip side to this is job security. Many of us were previously chasing the ‘goldilocks job’ and the pandemic has the turned tables in a way we never expected. It’s forced job security to the top of a list where fulfillment and work/life balance previously sat as so many people are being stood down, face redundancy or reduced hours. It’s creating anxiety around how our goals are going to be affected not just professionally but also financially.
For instance, we’ve inherited a housing market that we’ve been priced out of. The thought of paying off a home in our lifetime, in an area that we’d actually like to live in, seems increasingly unrealistic. On top of that, our ability to save a deposit is being handicapped by an unstable job market. An article on Your Money in the UK recently commented that as a result of our age Millennials haven’t had the opportunity to build up financial resilience so we’re left feeling the effects of lockdown in a monetary sense but also the stress and anxiety that comes with it.
To off-set these financial impacts, 36% of Millennials moved back into their parents home as a result of COVID-19 and lockdown. While having this as a viable option is something to be especially treasured, it’s an added layer of change in an already difficult time. In some circumstances moving back in with Mum and Dad isn’t just a move down the road- it’s leaving our community, moving to the country or relocating interstate, forcing Millennials to give up the lives they began building for themselves and absorbs an element of independence.
The impacts of lockdown are forcing Millennials to rethink living arrangements. For some of us it may mean considering alternatives to Mum and Dad’s house, like The Room Xchange - giving our time to replace traditional rent costs. For others who are fortunate to be less affected, it might mean making use of our space and opening our home for someone to stay in our spare bedroom. Keeping our communities together will help us get through this and Xchanging is the perfect way to tick some boxes safely.
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Article by Gemma Jordan for The Room Xchange