Interview with a Millennial: William

Following is a transcript of an interview dated 01/19/2017 with a random, everyday millennial named William. He was born in the early 90s and currently works as an inventory clerk in a rural setting.  The transcription was conducted online and reviewed and edited through email with the interviewee.

Interviewer: Good afternoon, William.  Will?  Can I call you Will?

William: Either is fine.

Interviewer: I’ll just stick to William then.  Thanks for allowing us to interview you.  Can you tell us a little about yourself?

William: I’m just going to jump right into it.  I graduated a couple years ago with an engineering degree.  I got a great job right out of school.  I worked for a year or so, but got laid off.  I couldn’t find a job since.  I moved back in with my parents, spent 2 years unemployed.  Recently I just gave up and got a job stacking boxes at a warehouse just so I can have some money.  My budget is all out of whack.  I got a bunch of student loans, a ton of credit card debt.  I’ve been paying nearly every cent I make towards it and at this current rate I’ll pay off my credit card in maybe 10 years and student loans… never haha.

Interviewer: Do you mind if I ask, why you were laid off?

William: It was a contract job.  Contract was terminated.  It was all of a sudden and it was a bit hostile.  I spoke with the HR lady that hired me for the job and she tried to find me something else, but after a couple of days she stopped replying to my emails and answering my phone calls.  So just like that I didn’t have a job anymore.

Interviewer: I see.  And the credit card debt.  How did that happen?

William: Well, I had some credit card debt when I was in school.  And when I got the good job, I spent some more.  Furniture and stuff.  I wasn’t out of control or anything.  I needed a bed, bookshelf, place to keep my clothes, couch, TV.  I probably spent more than I should have, but it was fine considering my salary.  It didn’t get out of control until I lost my job.  That’s when I started putting gas on it.  Groceries.  I lost my health insurance and started paying like $200 a month on prescription medicine I need.  I was making minimum payments and the interest kept piling up.  I went a couple months trying to find a new job before I just said screw it and moved back home.  Terrible, but I had no choice.

Interviewer: How did your parents react?

William: At first they were open to it.  My mom especially had empty nest syndrome, so she was excited I was back.  They were more excited than I was.  My dad was pretty gung-ho on me finding another job ASAP so he would make me apply to literally hundreds of places.  I told him that I already tried and I would apply to places twice and stuff, but he didn’t care.

Interviewer: Did you hear back from any of them?

William: No, not really.  Occasionally I would get a phone interview, but I wouldn’t hear back.  I tried it all.  Career fairs, referrals.  They just don’t take people with no experience.  And as time went by, at like 6 months of unemployment, I’m pretty sure that was a factor too.

Interviewer: Do you have any suspicions on why they weren’t interested?

William: Well, like I said, the unemployment and no experience.  I was in this limbo where I wasn’t a new grad so I wasn’t treated like one and I wasn’t an experienced employee so I heard a lot of people say back that they wanted 5-10 years experience and stuff.  If I had another year or two of experience, it probably wouldn’t have been a big deal.  It also doesn’t help that I have a bit of a nervous stutter, so its pretty much guaranteed that I botch every phone interview.  Its not bad, but it sure isn’t helping.  Social anxiety and bi-polar too.  That’s why my meds are so much.  I’m good at what I do, but not at interviews.

Interviewer: Well, enough about the past.  How is your new job as an inventory clerk?

William: Its better than nothing.  Its hard on me because its not what I went to school for.  But the guys are alright.  Most of them are older, but they are nice to me.  They make me do all the crap work though.  It’s good exercise I suppose.

Interviewer: Do you think there is a future in it where you can maybe end up in a management position?  Make a career out of it?

William: No, probably not.  I’m not hoping to stay there.  Even if I can’t find a job in my field, I’ll probably find something else someday.  I’m also bouncing around some ideas making an app or something.  Maybe go back to school for my masters and hit the reset button on this whole job out of school thing.

Interviewer: What kind of app were you thinking about?

William: I’m not a computer programmer, but I have a buddy who is pretty good at it.  We were thinking about a game, or maybe some type of educational thing for kids.  My sister has some kids and I was thinking how hard could it be to touch the screen and make a monster truck go or something.

Interviewer: What kind of degree were you considering going to school for?

William: I’m not sure.  I was thinking something for robotics, nanotechnology, or something like that.  It has to be a hot field.  If I’m going to want to be employed, it has to be an emerging field with a big future where they are snatching up college grads.  Wouldn’t hurt to go to a reputable school too.  I think part of my mistake with my bachelors degree was that it was a good, but a small school.  Since nobody heard of it so its not really doing me any favors even though it was good.

Interviewer: How’s the love life, Will?  Any plans on settling down anytime soon?

William: Haha, about that.  No.  That’s been getting progressively worse and more depressing.  The older I get it seems the more everyone is getting married or having kids.  If I’m not finding girls still in school or fresh out of school, I’m finding ones who have gone through divorces and already have kids.  Mostly its the ones who didn’t go to college that has them.  My last girlfriend for example, was married at 18, divorced at 21, and had 2 kids.  I’m not ready for it.

Interviewer: So, no kids any time soon?

William: No, not yet.  Someday.  But not now.

Interviewer: Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 20 years?

William: Wow, tough question.  A few years ago I had an answer for that.  I would have said living a good life with a nice apartment downtown.  Going out with friends all the time.  Travelling.  Now, in 10 years I’d say I see myself back in school honestly.  That’s just my gut feeling.  Like, I’m going to do this thing for a bit to get my credit card thing straight.  Then with my Master’s I should be able to afford both degrees.  Hopefully.  Even if I got a job in my field tomorrow, I think I would still get my Masters.  Part time at least.

Interviewer: 20 years?

William: Married.  Successful.  Kids.  Dog.  Nice car.  Truck.  House.

Interviewer: Pretty standard American Dream.

William: Yeah, it just feels unobtainable nowadays.  Like, my dad had that working as a mechanic.  Nowadays its like, need a Master’s degree in Nanotechnology and have to be 40+ haha.

Interviewer: Well, I hope you do end up with that American Dream.

William: Me too.

Interviewer: Do you have any closing remarks before we conclude the interview?

William: I don’t think so.

Interviewer:  Well, thanks for letting us interview you today.  Good luck to you in the future.  I hope it all works out.

William:  Thanks.


If you are a millennial and interested in an interview, please mention it in the comments or email us directly.  We would be interested in hearing your story.

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