An Open Letter to Millennials Like Talia…
Stefanie Williams

I applaud you for your career path. I also understand why you generally have that point of view. However, I think you generalize too much based on personal, specific situations. And because of that, it seems you miss the point that minimum wage salary at $11-$12.5/hour does not work in the Bay Area and SF. Period. It does not matter whether you have 5 roommates or 3 jobs (the latter being impossible due to the fact that you can put only certain number activities within a 24-hour period) or some sort of entitlement or impeccable work ethic. Talking about the latter though, a definition:

“the principle that hard work is intrinsically virtuous or worthy of reward.”

You seem to rely a lot on this. I don’t. It is one of the biggest manipulations in the work history of the US. I do know many people who don’t work hard and are multi-millionaires and many who work on 3 jobs and cannot meet the ends. Smart work is what matters, not hard work or some empty phrase work ethic.

Financial responsibility is important, but not always predictable. When I initially moved to the Valley, I thought the salary I had been offered was good (compared to East Coast life). Well, wrong. My rent was 2.54 higher for the same place, cost of food, gas, etc. I was literally losing money and going in debt. At that time, I lived frugally. I made about 10 different budget calculations, and the math was always the same — no matter what I did, I was about to be losing money every single month because of expenses.

I do understand where you are coming from and generally support that more pro-activeness is needed, but before you fully judge that harshly, better try to account for all externalities, not just those that are specific to your situation and beneficial to your case.

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