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Quarter-Life Breakthroughs, Not Crises, For the Purpose Generation

A year ago, I quit my comfortable job at the Peace Corps in D.C. and moved to San Francisco with nothing but two suitcases, my newfound...

A year ago, I quit my comfortable job at the Peace Corps in Washington, D.C. and moved to San Francisco with nothing but two suitcases, my newfound optimism, and a lot of energy. Now I’m writing a book about my journey. The Quarter-Life Breakthrough is a handbook for 20- and 30-somethings trying to make a living doing what they love.


According to a recent Gallup poll, more than 50 percent of Americans are not engaged at work. In 2011, more than 25 percent of Americans between ages 25 and 34 were not working. As hard it is to find a job, it’s even more difficult to find work that provides meaning and fulfillment, and makes an impact in the lives of others.

Before I moved, I felt like something was wrong with me for wanting to leave a job at an organization I believed in, which was doing great work all over the world, providing me with a good salary, benefits, and job security. After I started writing about my career transition on my blog, I realized readers were also facing the same challenge of how to match their skills and interests with an organization or company aligned with their values and what they wanted to do to change in the world.

Critics love to hate on millennials—they call us the lazy generation, the entitled generation, the “me me me generation.” Based on the millennials I know and the ones I profile in my book, these stereotypes couldn’t be farther from the truth. Millennials want to work—and despite being shackled by debt—they are not motivated by money, but rather by making the world more compassionate, innovative, and sustainable.

The millennials I met on my journey over the past year took me to the StartingBloc Institute, the Dell Social Innovation Lab, and the mentoring program Bold Academy. They are teaching financial literacy and entrepreneurship to urban students, designing toys to inspire the next generation of female engineers, and building rotating solar panels for communities without access to affordable clean energy. Far from the “me me me generation,” ours is the Purpose Generation, a group who refuses to settle, because we know how great our impact is when we find work we care about.

The Quarter-Life Breakthrough is not just about the advice I received while finding work as a freelance writer and eventually as the academy director of Bold Academy, but it’s also about how to build a supportive community that believes in you, a community of people who will hold you accountable to your dreams.

Our generation cares deeply about aligning our work with who we are and what we believe in. We are willing to change careers multiple times, become entrepreneurs and then intrapreneurs (and then entrepreneurs again), take risks that frighten our parents and our bank accounts, and start new paths at the ages of 23, 27, and 30. But we can’t do it alone. We need each other, and that’s why I’m writing this book.

Create a small network of like-minded individuals looking for personally meaningful work in your community. Join this Google Hangout and we can hack the job world together. Click DO it here.




This project is part of GOOD's series Push for Good—our guide to crowdfunding creative progress.



Articles
via Chela Horsdal / Twitter

Amazon's "The Man in the High Castle" debuted the first episode of its final season last week.

The show is loosely based on an alternative history novel by Philip K. Dick that postulates what would happen if Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan controlled the United States after being victorious in World War II.

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Politics
via Mike Mozart / Flickr

Chick-fil-A is the third-largest fast food chain in America, behind McDonald's and Starbucks, raking in over $10 billion a year.

But for years, the company has faced boycotts for supporting anti-LGBT charities, including the Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Paul Anderson Youth Home.

The Salvation Army faced criticism after a leader in the organization implied that gay people "deserve to die" and the company also came under fire after refusing to offer same-sex couples health insurance. But the organization swears it's evolving on such issues.

via Thomas Hawk / Flickr

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes explicitly announced it was anti gay marriage in a recent "Statement of Faith."

God instituted marriage between one man and one woman as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one man and one woman.

The Paul Anderson Youth Home teaches boys that homosexuality is wrong and that same-sex marriage is "rage against Jesus Christ and His values."

RELATED: The 1975's singer bravely kissed a man at a Dubai concert to protest anti-LGBT oppression

In 2012, Chick-fil-A's CEO, Dan Cathy, made anti same-sex marriage comments on a radio broadcast:

I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, "We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage". I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.

But the chicken giant has now decided to change it's says its charitable donation strategy because it's bad for business...Not because being homophobic is wrong.

The company recently lost several bids to provide concessions in U.S. airports. A pop-up shop in England was told it would not be renewed after eight days following LGBTQ protests.

Chick-fil-A also has plans to expand to Boston, Massachusetts where its mayor, Thomas Menino, pledged to ban the restaurant from the city.

via Wikimedia Commons

"There's no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are," Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulos told Bisnow. "There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message."

RELATED: Alan Turing will appear on the 50-pound note nearly 70 years after being persecuted for his sexuality

Instead, the Chick-fil-A Foundation plans to give $9 million to organizations that support education and fight homelessness. Which is commendable regardless of the company's troubled past.

"If Chick-Fil-A is serious about their pledge to stop holding hands with divisive anti-LGBTQ activists, then further transparency is needed regarding their deep ties to organizations like Focus on the Family, which exist purely to harm LGBTQ people and families," Drew Anderson, GLAAD's director of campaigns and rapid response, said in a statement.

Chick-fil-A's decision to back down from contributing to anti-LGBT charities shows the power that people have to fight back against companies by hitting them where it really hurts — the pocket book.

The question remains: If you previously avoided Chick-fil-A because it supported anti-LGBT organizations, is it now OK to eat there? Especially when Popeye's chicken sandwich is so good people will kill for it?

Lifestyle

Oh, irony. You are having quite a day.

The Italian region of Veneto, which includes the city of Venice, is currently experiencing historic flooding. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has stated that the flooding is a direct result of climate change, with the tide measuring the highest level in 50 years. The city (which is actually a collection of 100 islands in a lagoon—hence its famous canal streets), is no stranger to regular flooding, but is currently on the brink of declaring a state of emergency as waters refuse to recede.

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via Gage Skidmore / Flickr and nrkbeta / flickr

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) dropped a bombshell on Tuesday, announcing it had over 900 emails that White House aide Stephen Miller sent to former Breitbart writer and editor Katie McHugh.

According to the SPLC, in the emails, Miller aggressively "promoted white nationalist literature, pushed racist immigration stories and obsessed over the loss of Confederate symbols after Dylann Roof's murderous rampage."

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via Twitter / Bye,Bye Harley Davidson

The NRA likes to diminish the role that guns play in fatal shootings by saying, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

Which is the same logic as, "Hammers don't build roofs, people build roofs." No duh. But it'd be nearly impossible to build a roof without a hammer.

So, shouldn't the people who manufacture guns share some responsibility when they are used for the purpose they're made: killing people? Especially when the manufacturers market the weapon for that exact purpose?

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Business