In my previous post, I shared about Millennials (and others) who have come to have an entitlement outlook regarding jobs and careers. This outlook is out of step with the economic realities of today, causing job seekers to turn down the only offer they get (things like a $40,000 claims adjuster job) because it doesn’t offer enough “job satisfaction”.
My point is not to villify the Millennials or any other group. Nor is it to villify the specific people I mentioned in the post. Instead, I am highlighting an issue that is not likely to have a positive outcome for the people involved (or most of the rest of us for that matter)… and that can be changed.
Not all Millennials (nor Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers, G-Yers, or any other demographic slice) have this viewpoint. There are wonderful success stories that occasionally get spotlighted. There are individuals who don’t match the cultural norms.
In that post I mentioned that we are in the era that futurists predicted 20 years ago… the era of several careers in a lifetime. Because of this, it makes no sense to pin too much (hope, weight, baggage) on your first “real” job. (A “real” job is the one you take after you get out of school to support yourself so you can live independently.
I promised that I would talk about some things that they (and you?) can do to adapt to the situation we find ourselves in. I will do that in this post and in the next one.
The first thing I want to say is that it is okay to have a “dream job”. For most people, it is even better than okay… it is good to do so. However, don’t confuse a dream job with your first job or your current job. A dream job is the one you aspire to… the one you work toward.
Did you notice that word in the preceding sentence… work? That is a key. If you expect things to be handed to you or be dropped into your lap by the universe, then you will be in for a major disappointment. (“God feeds the birds of the field, but he doesn’t throw it into the nest.”)
Even though we all are wired to be lazy, the universe conspires to nudge us to effort. It might be hunger or serious discomfort (too cold, too hot, too wet, etc.) that provides the nudge. It might be community pressures or family pressures that nudge us. In it all, we will have to work… and, often, to work hard… whether we like it or not. (And most of us don’t.)
If you apply the success principles to your life and to your job/career, it really doesn’t matter much where you start… or where you are currently. These principles propel war refugees who come to the U.S. into amazingly high tax brackets… often in a surprisingly short time. (I mention war refugees because these typically are people who are starting with nothing but the clothes on their backs… literally. If they can do this, the rest of us with our additional advantages and goods certainly can.)
Most of us will have 3-5 careers in our lifetimes. But a career change doesn’t have to mean a step down if you do it right. (We don’t always have the luxury of “doing it right”, but we can try.) Even if it is a step down, it doesn’t have to be a limiter on our upward mobility.
One last thing for this post… none of the above means that you can’t have job satisfaction. Nor does it mean that you can’t enjoy your job/career. In fact, those who know me know that I advocate working at what you love. In fact, I make my living doing what I love… part of which is helping people be successful at what they love. But if you insist on only working in a job that you love and is “meaningful” to you, especially starting out… you may find you never get the chance to work in that job.
Next time, I’ll share some more tips on landing that job and moving forward to your dream job.