You can do anything you want.
You can be anything you desire.
Just set your heart to it.
Believe in yourself.
I mean we’ve all been told this at some point, by someone growing up. Someone gave us a speech or a variation of the speech that made us believe that we could be anything. Fast forward to twenty plus years and we’ll all be damned (apparently) for settling for anything less. Which has caused quite the predicament! Employers are being infuriated by their pool of young professional talent leaving them somewhat prematurely and parents are scratching their heads as they contrast their own careers, where they spent at least 15 years slaving away under the same boss.
It wasn’t just the speech that has enforced this ‘I can be anything’ mantra; it’s everything that subconsciously supported the speech too. Instagrammers, trendy co-working spaces, inspirational public figures of those who defied the odds (insert name of athlete/entertainer/activist/scientist/creator). Everyone is dishing the passion-hit hype and whether we naively swallowed it by the bucket load, the raw truth of it is, a good load of it was digested.
I’ve read in length articles bashing the typical working young professional and it’s beginning to irk me. We are a generation that is being slated for being overly confident, but the mind boggles as to why that could be such a bad thing, when it has meant we have taken steps to actively change the approaches of how the future of work is conducted in the office. For example, the Baby Boomers and Generation X always sought to have that work/life balance that we have now demanded. Our need for work/life balance comes as the second highest priority under salary. When you consider one of the biggest regrets of the elderly being that they wished they had worked less or hadn’t made work such a focal point before their friends, family and general lives, it puts things into perspective. It makes me happy that we voiced this as such a high priority. That our voices are so loud in fact that companies are having to embody this new way of working, so we are working to live rather than living for work.
Leaving a job over short periods of time (1-3 years) does not make an individual selfish or lazy; the classic me, me, me character that media publications like to blast out… We’re a generation that grew up as the digital age exploded onto the scene and that does makes us different and not special like older generations like to ridicule us for being. Having grown up with the big wide web at the touch of our fingers, we are used to finding out the answers we don’t know and building on the knowledge that we do. We like to be stimulated and challenged and if we aren’t, then yes, we will look elsewhere and there is nothing wrong with that.
There will be haters that call you self-righteous and entitled, but if you’re making positive steps to getting to where you would like to be, in an environment that can support that, then why not?
Does it always happen the way we would like? Nope, not always. Will we make countless mistakes, yup-by the bucket load. And will we question our decisions on a regular basis-hell yes! But ultimately that is the best kind of learning, as it makes you reflect back on both the good and the bad choices you’ve made and will then alter perhaps the next set of choices you decide to make next.
It’s not a bad thing to want more from your work and if there is something you can do to incorporate change moving forward for the better, then we say stick two fingers up at the haters and just do it.