Why Your Career Won’t Look Like Your Parents’ (And Why That’s OK)

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You may not commute to the same office building day after day, year after year, like your parents did.

Many of us struggle to find the perfect career. We jump from job to job, getting frustrated at our inability to find a job to take care of us for the rest of our lives. It wasn’t like this for our parents, right?

You probably remember your mom and dad heading out to work every day, to the same company, year after year—and they seemed to like it! After all, they’ll likely push you toward finding similar stability.  Well, here’s a newsflash: The world of work has changed. Your career will not look like your parents’ did. And it’s totally OK! Here’s why.


Job Hopping Is The New Normal

Young professionals find themselves switching jobs on average every 4.5 years. For the younger side of young professionals, the time period is about half as long. In all honesty, how many people do you know who’ve had the same job since they graduated college? Probably not very many.

The reality is that young professionals these days are more interested in getting a varied skill set and learning new things than climbing the career ladder with just one company. Furthermore, millennials like to be challenged. If we feel like our skills aren’t being used at our current job, we look for another one.

The upside of this is that millennials can avoid all the “dues paying” that occurred in past generations.

Entrepreneurship Is On The Rise

Millennials have been dubbed the startup generation. Combine their technology skills with an unstable job market, and millennials are the perfect example of the old adage “necessity is the mother of invention.”

Here are some statistics to put it in perspective:

These are record rates in comparison to previous generations. Why are millennials so into entrepreneurship? They tend to value their autonomy and are big proponents of social change.

Job Seeker Values Have Changed

Young professionals are more concerned with impact, creativity, technology, and independence than past generations.

In the past, people worked for the same company for 30 years to get a gold watch and spend their retirement years however they wished. With economic changes, millennials may not have the same future—and they know it. As a result, what they look for in a job is totally different than what their parents looked for.

Companies Are Going Through Changes Too

Job seekers aren’t the only ones experiencing changes. Companies are also just trying to survive. While the economy looks better than it did a few years ago, companies are still doing more with less people. Furthermore, they’ve had to keep up with technology—something our parents never went through. And lastly, we’ve got mergers happening left and right, which can seriously affect how a company operates.

Do you find yourself job-hopping in search of the perfect career? Let us know why in the comments!

(Photo: Wikimedia)

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  1. Aaron Weber December 15, 2014 / 12:01 pm

    My parents have been working for the same place for nearly 35 years now. Even before that, they had the same sort of job in a different location. From assistant to associate to senior titles, but they’ve been working at basically the same job since the late 1960s.

    I’ve had more different jobs in the past 15 years than they have had in their entire lives, and in a wider variety of industries and career types than they have ever considered.

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