Stream of Consciousness

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Some of what I've been saying lately...

In response to an email from Ryan Healy of Employee Evolution regarding a podcast tonight for the WSJ with Ramit Sethi:
As far as opinions on the podcast goes -- I wonder if maybe the reason we're so ready, willing, and able to embrace our impatience is because we were told from a very young age, "You can do whatever you want. You can be whatever you want." I also know that my parents have also tended to talk to me as an adult, and an equal, engaging in discussions that ran the gamut of politics, careers, social issues, and the like. Also, at this point in our lives very few of us have responsibilities that ground us to certain locations or positions. This is the ideal time to explore, travel, and embrace any opportunity. I'm a firm believer that you never know where the path may take you - it's so filled with twists and turns - and that you will regret more those things which you did not do more than those stupid things you may have tried and failed at.

I think it's also easier for people our age to express our opinions without being censored by a heirarchical media structure thanks to the prevalance of blogging and sites like Facebook. This helps us engage each other and mobilize. We're not staging protests like Kent State in the 70s, but we're connecting, discussing, and mobilizing online -- with a much wider network. It's easier to express your opinions, to quit a job and pursue something you really want to do, or push back against the ideals of your parents/grandparents if you know that you're not alone.

Comment thread to the lastest Twentysomething post on Brazen Careerist, "The Paradox of Choice, Gen-Y Style":

Interesting how most of the comments to this post focus not on the general topic, but on specifics that Ryan mentions - moving home, joining the Peace Corps, etc. Isn’t the whole point of this discussion to talk about how there are CHOICES, which basically comes to meaning that what may be right for you may not be right for me, and vice versa. It also means that what may be right for me this year, may be the complete opposite of what will be right for me next year. I was a straight-A (almost) student in HS, I have a 3.9 GPA in college, and I’m on a pretty good track toward finding out what kind of job I want to have when I graduate. Other the other hand, my brother couldn’t care less about school (he gets mostly Bs & Cs), but he could take my car apart and rebuild it into something else without any kind of instructions. I think it’s important to remember that we each bring our own bias and personal experiences to this ongoing discussion. And that’s what it should be - a discussion - not an argument, not a “I’m right and you’re wrong” battle.

And please don’t even start with the fact that you’re 30 and somehow that means you’re past your peak. Are you kidding me? My mom is 45 and she’s looking to shift jobs because she’s found that after 9 years hers is not longer challenging or satisfying anyone. She also pursues several active hobbies on the side, including gardening and hiking. The fact that somehow by you being 30 you’ve ‘missed the boat’ is the biggest cop-out. You don’t have to quit your job and join the peace corps, especially if you’re settled. But no one is stopping you from pursuing hobbies on the side of your regular job. And how knows, maybe you’ll end up changing careers somewhere
down the line.

Comment on the same post on the Employee Evolution site:

I think change can be really hard for some people. And maybe some of them feel insulted that we're pushing back and saying, no I'm sorry, that's not what I want. Like it somehow devalues what they've worked so hard to attain. It will be interesting, however, to see what happens as all those hardworking boomers start hitting their retirement years. I think they're going to cause as much of a shift in that area as we're going to cause coming into the workforce.

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