Lazy, entitled, self-involved — millennials face a lot of harsh stereotypes. As more make the decision to move back home with their parents, these stereotypes perpetuate. But is there more to this cultural shift than meets the eye?
Nearly one in three millennials lives with his or her parents. In fact, for the first time in more than 130 years, more Americans ages 18–34 live with their parents than in any other living situation, according to the Pew Research Center. That means living at home edged out living alone, living with a roommate, and cohabitating with a spouse or partner in a place of their own.
For past generations, living with parents as an adult was, to a point, a mark of failure. It certainly wasn’t something you’d necessarily lead with in a conversation. Today, millennials accept the practice with no shame involved. Turns out, many are moving home for very respectable and responsible reasons.
One of those reasons is to benefit their career. Starting and excelling in the workforce can be extremely difficult for young professionals, and living at home makes a difference.
From a financial perspective, moving home has obvious benefits. By eliminating rent and many of the associated expenses, millennials can pay off school loans more quickly and save more money. This eliminates a huge stress factor so they can focus more on their career development and less on how they are going to pay the bills each month. Plus, they can work longer hours without a ton of worry about home maintenance and other property demands.
What’s more, while millennials deserve a decent wage, they no longer are held to making a certain amount of money. That means they can take the lower-paying job at the company they really want to work for with awesome career training rather than a higher-paying job at a company where there is less potential to advance. Basically, they have the luxury to think about the big picture.
Having a support network nearby is another important benefit for millennials living at home. The emotional support parents provide can curb professional stresses and other hurdles that are new to young workers. Knowing you have someone who supports you every day makes a huge difference when you have a tough week (or month!) at work.
Of course, this support goes beyond the emotional. Many millennials have parents who have worked for 30 or more years. Some have completed their careers and are now retired. They can provide valuable advice about the workplace, which only comes with time and tenure. Having professional support when working through difficulties with supervisors, collaboration with co-workers and career advancement can be extremely helpful. This empowers millennials on many levels and helps them develop into mature, responsible leaders.
“Move home to move up” seems to be the plan for millennials who want to advance their career. If you’re a millennial, do you agree? If you’re a parent of a millennial who moved home, do you believe it’s helped your son or daughter succeed?