Many millennials follow passion over tradition

For one millennial couple, passion projects trump office jobs

Brooke Barker works on her book at her WeWork desk. (KOIN)
Brooke Barker works on her book at her WeWork desk. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — For many millennials, following a passion rather than taking a traditional office job is the only way they know how.

Neither Brooke Barker or Boaz Frankel, engaged to be married in July, have traditional office jobs, and neither of them own a car.

28-year-old Brooke, who worked for years at ad agency Wieden and Kennedy, now works on projects out of the WeWork building downtown.

“Everyone here is renting a desk,” she tells KOIN. “It’s a good way to meet people so you’re not just in your pajamas.”

The space is designed for freelancers to have a desk experience.

Brooke Barker works on her book at her WeWork desk. (KOIN)
Brooke Barker works on her book at her WeWork desk. (KOIN)

Her fiance, 33-year-old Boaz Frankel, who was also at Wieden and Kennedy, where the two met, works on a variety of projects as well.

Those project include an upcoming book called Sad Animal Facts, a daily calendar for sale at Powell’s among other stores, and a YouTube talk show that eventually led to a Portlandia appearance.

“I feel like every few years I’m going to have to keep reinventing myself, and everyone will have to as everything develops, to try and stay relevant,” Boaz says.

The couple’s exciting careers exemplify a trend among millennials — 60% of whom have changed jobs several times in the last four years. For many, money alone isn’t motivation to take a job.

“I think the main thing is that I’d be doing things I liked,” Brooke says.

Bucking other traditions as well, Brooke proposed to Boaz instead of the other way around. The couple is trying to have Dairy Queen sponsor desserts at their July wedding, and she’ll keep her last name.

And after the wedding?

“We started looking at new places to live after we get married. We thought we should take this time to leave the country and go travel for a bit,” Brooke says.

For Brooke and Boaz, and many millennials, it’s about life experience, not material things.

“I’ve seen millennials of all types. I guess I think like anything else, there are certainly people who are going to be lazier and certainly people who will be more motivated,” Boaz says.

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