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Etta May & the Changing American Dream

etta-maySummer is winding down but Women Leading Kentucky is gearing up for an exciting season of Roundtable Networking Luncheons, this fall. On Tuesday, August 30th the ‘Queen of Southern Sass’, Etta May, will do a benefit comedy performance to help us raise funding for scholarships that are given each year to women attending college in Kentucky.

Basic CMYKWe are partnering with the Hope Center’s One Parent Scholar House to give one of our scholarships to a student in that program. The One Parent Scholar House supplies housing, childcare and other services to single parent students who could otherwise not attend college. These women are fighting hard to overcome poverty and become role models for their children!

The comedy show is at 7:30pm and will be a lot of fun so bring your friends, enjoy an evening of comedy and help us raise money for a meaningful cause. The next day on August 31st, we kick off our fall Roundtable Networking Luncheon series where Etta May will be our guest speaker. You’ll meet the ‘woman behind the woman’ as she shares her personal journey, and speaks frankly about modern women and how the American dream has changed.

I’ve had the opportunity to talk with Etta May about some of her ideas on the changing American dream and they are very enlightening. In her opinion, millennials have a different perspective on this topic than their parents, who were loyal to their employers, worked to have a nice home, 2.5 children, white picket fence and retire comfortably. This got me thinking…I’m at the tail-end of the baby boomer generation, have a daughter who is a millennial and share my office with a millennial. I can definitely see the distinct difference between their needs, wants and outlook on life.

The millennials are heavily concerned about the here and now. Because of changes in the job market things aren’t like they used to be and people don’t stay at one job their entire lives and draw a pension. Millennials know they need a skill set that makes them chameleon-like so they can shift as the job market evolves. Their version of stability and settling down is different than their parents. They want to plan for their financial future but still enjoy life in the present.

On the other hand, parents of millennials who are still in the job market are faced with a new challenge. We might not be ready to retire, whether by choice or necessity, therefore we must make ourselves marketable in this changing environment. We feel the need to prove our worth to employers and stay abreast of new technology. Age and experience might be seen as a disadvantage in these days but one of our strongest points is that our children are grown so we don’t take time off for parenting duties. We also have a great work ethic instilled in us by our parents, who struggled through the Great Depression.

Bottom line is that the American dream has changed for all of us in the workplace. Millennials have accepted that and moved forward with what life has given them. Those of us who are their parents need to adjust our priorities as well so that we can be relevant in this new economy. We all have something to offer and a successful business will see the benefit in having a diverse workforce.

Tickets are still available for both the Comedy show on the 30th and the luncheon on the 31st. Hope to see you there!

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