You’re not alone. That anxious feeling, that familiar sense of worry, Aussie young people feel it in spades. A recent survey of young people across the world has confirmed, Australian young people are the unhappiest of them all. We’re confronted with a future we don’t feel ready to take on, debt and environmental issues a gift from generations past. Compounding cash stress and global uncertainty, the weight of stress upon our shoulders overburdens. According to the Deloitte survey, here’s why:
Never Owning A House
Sure we value experience over things, but that’s only because we can’t afford things. Things like houses, appartments or even a small patch of land in the middle of nowhere. Driven to unachievable heights by negative gearing, housing is out of our reach. For a country built on a rhetoric of owning a property, this can be mighty disheartening. And only to add to that, our parents aren’t on the same page, making an explanation all but out of the question. You’re likely to be met with a discussion that begins with “Well, at your age I owned a property, took care of six children and worked 95 hour weeks” – thanks Dad, super understanding.
The survey revealed only 8% of us believe we’ll be wealthier than our parents. Whilst 4% thought we’d be happier. Frowny faces all around. Participants noted the pressure from their parents as a factor in their stress, with a sense of inevitable disappointment on the horizon.
Terrorism And Crime
Australia hasn’t been subject to a mass casualty terrorist event but thanks to social media we’re all on high alert. In the 2016 survey terrorism overtook environmentalism as the main concern on young people’s mind. With European terror attacks and the uncertainty brought about by shock political decisions (looking at you Donald Trump and Nigel Farage), we’re more worried than ever. 29% of respondents listed it as their biggest concern when it comes to personal safety and worldly concerns. This climate is only likely to breed further discontent with foreigners and fear, let’s be real that’s why One Nation exists. Turns out we’re a pessimistic bunch on this front.
We want to make a difference in the world, make our footprints shake the earth a little. But large corporates and huge organisations aren’t equipped to handle a millennial’s typical career trajectory. If you read the news you’d think we’re a lazy bunch of dole bludgers (Alan Jone’s words not ours), when in fact we just approach work differently. Young people feel more accountable than influential in the workplace than ever before. With 39% feeling accountable at work and only 26% feeling influential, that gap only fuels our discontent. But 76% do believe businesses can be a force of change, perhaps that’s why the startup community is booming.
The survey revealed we want “full time stability with freelance flexibility”. A seemingly incompatible cocktail of working arrangements. Not unattainable but stressful to maintain, that’s for sure.
Young people believe in climate change and our power to halt it’s effects. If not power, than moreso a responsibility to protect the globe for further generations. With 59% of those surveyed noting feelings of accountability for protecting the environment. In 2014 it topped our list of concerns too, but the war in Syria, subsequent migrant crisis and hyperbolic fear of terrorism have knocked it to second place. We don’t want to be the sunburnt country for future generations at least.
Image source: Media Week, Marie Claire, A Shared House Web Series,