Why Millennial Women Are Burning Out At Work By 30

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By Larissa Faw (Contributing Writer, ForbesWoman) Young professional women may not relate to the financial struggles their Millennial peers are protesting against during the Occupy New York movement. After all, these ambitious go-getters are working as doctors, lawyers, engineers, and advertising executives, blessed with great salaries, health benefits, and paid vacation.

But these women understand the protestors’ frustration and unhappiness over the fact that their lives aren’t supposed to turn out this way. This is why a growing number of young professional women who seem to “have it all” are burning out at work before they reach 30.

These early career flameouts are reflected through the corporate ladder. Today, 53% of corporate entry-level jobs are held by women, a percentage that drops to 37% for mid-management roles and 26% for vice presidents and senior managers, according to McKinsey research. Men are twice as likely as women to advance at each career transition stage.

One rationale is that men are more likely than women to do things that help their personal well-being at work, thus negating burnout, according to the Captivate Network. Men are 25% more likely to take breaks throughout the day for personal activities, 7% more likely to take a walk, 5% more likely to go out to lunch, and 35% more likely to take breaks “just to relax.”

It seems relaxation is something Millennial women have never experienced. One reason that women are burning out early in their careers is that they have simply reached their breaking point after spending their childhoods developing well-rounded resumes. “These women worked like crazy in school, and in college, and then they get into the workforce and they are exhausted,” says Melanie Shreffler of the youth marketing blog Ypulse.

Many also didn’t think of their lives beyond landing the initial first job. Even those who did plot out their lives past the initial first career have unrealistic expectations about full-time employment. It’s not as if these women expected their jobs to be parties and good times, but many underestimated the actual day-to-day drudgery.

All of this unhappiness has left young women struggling over their next move. Simply quitting or changing careers isn’t an option because the education for their professional jobs has burdened them with substantial student debt. Also, while earlier generations may have opted out of the workforce through marriage or motherhood, these paths aren’t viable for these self-sufficient women, who either are still single or unwilling to be fully supported by men.

Instead, Millennial women are tapping into their Type-A personalities to combat this fatigue.

» Read the full article at Forbes.