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Liz Lidgett: Millennials aren't unfocused; they're "multi-hyphenates"

My generation has been labeled many things: Millennials, Generation Y, even the New Boomers. Lately though, the one thing that I have noticed most is that I see more "multi-hyphenates" from this age group. People are complex creatures and have many passions. This generation doesn't let itself get boxed in by just any one thing. The young professionals in Des Moines are no different and I think the city is taking their lead.

No longer are we committed to only one career in our life. Some of us even have multiple careers at one time, let alone in a lifetime. I have a friend that is in the healthcare field but is also an avid yogi, another friend has a legal degree, works in the insurance field, plays in a band and is a professional photographer. Taking myself for example, I could put Entrepreneur-Art Advisor-Writer-Stylist on my business card. I won't. But I could.

I love speaking to people that can self-identify as a multi-hyphenate. They make for fascinating conversation at a dinner party. I also just like seeing someone who has many passions and explores each one with fervor. These are the type of people I would love to hire. Their many experiences and passions give them multiple perspectives and creativity to problem solve. Instead of seeing them as unfocused, I see multi-hyphenates as versatile.

Young professionals are talked about a lot in Des Moines. They city understands that there will have to be a next generation who takes the reigns from this current great generation. Perhaps, this multi-hyphenate generation is influencing Des Moines in greater ways than we yet know.

Growing up, Des Moines was a different place. The East Village was not a cool spot to hang out, really downtown as a whole. We were a sleepy, insurance town with potential. Our city is definitely still (and proudly) an insurance town but we're also so much more. We're a cool music and arts town thanks to the creatives who make things like 80/35, the Social Club, and the Arts Festival happen — among many others. We're even growing into a fitness city with the Iowa's Healthiest State Initiative and have a bigger focus on working out (we've gotta work off all that bacon we eat somehow). Even Pop Up Yoga has hit Des Moines.

Whether you're a person or a city (or a money market account); it's just smart to diversify.