~It was a strange weekend to say the least. At coffee I ran into three different acquaintances who each shared with me how much they hate their job, but don’t know what to do next.
“I spent nearly one hundred thousand dollars on my accounting degree, and after three years working in the field I realize I hate it” said a late twenty something young woman
“I’ve been teaching high school social studies for the last two years and I’m sick of it. I can’t imagine doing this the rest of my life” said a twenty five year old guy
“I’ve been making really good money working in light construction, but there’s no way I want to be climbing up ladders the rest of my life” said a twenty seven year old guy
You can call me crazy and hit me over the head with a wiffle ball bat, but I think I noticed a trend among the people who shared with me their discontent in the workplace; they were all twenty-somethings.
When you are a twenty-something with no children and no mortgage, there isn’t much incentive for you to keep working a job that you don’t like.
When you are married, have children, a mortgage and debt, there isn’t much time to spend thinking about how much you hate your job and want to leave. You might very well hate your line of work, but ultimately, there are bills to be paid and responsibilities to be met that keep you focused on life.
The baby boom generation will forever be linked with the fact that they had children. However, as we know, younger generations of adults are much less interested in having children than their parents and grandparents. Even when young adults consider the idea of having a kid a two, it’s usually cloaked in the language of, “Well, maybe once I’m in my mid thirties I’ll consider having a child” or something to that degree.
I’m not judging or condemning anyone for waiting till later to have children. I am however noting that historically it was usually marriage and children that propelled people to take on greater responsibility and stick with it.
To be perfectly honest, if I was a twenty something with no child and no mortgage, what incentive would there be for me to stay at my job? I’m sure I’d probably have a case of wanderlust and be looking at travel pictures of far away exotic destinations.
“Everyone is supposed to love their job”
That is perhaps one of the strangest lies our society has propagated; everyone is supposed to love their job…REALLY???
In order to have the conveniences we enjoy, there are a lot of jobs that must be done which aren’t all that “fun” to do;
Does every trash collector love their job?
Does every employee at the water sewage treatment plant love their job?
Does every ditch worker love their job?
There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of menial jobs that must be performed to keep the garbage from piling up and the waste from staying in our homes. Without people working at these sucky jobs, life as we know it would seize to exist.
At what point did we start believing that life was all about loving your job? I admit, there are some jobs that are desirable; being a professional soccer player, getting paid to write books, getting paid to play golf, being a professional musician….but for every job that sounds “fun” and “attractive” to a twenty-something, there are thousands of jobs that are boring and dull.
Ultimately, life is not about the job we perform during the day. Life is about the community we build around us. That is why building beautiful cities that are vibrant and alive with cafe’s, pubs, churches, and synagogues, was always a vital component of philosophy in the past. Work was merely a means to an end; people worked on the farm or at the general store as a way to put food on their table….and social life was where people thrived.
We are social creatures. We were meant for real life community and connection. The Internet and smart phone community is a poor substitute for what we really need in our lives. The Internet is great for reading and research, but we must take what we learn to our neighborhoods and build community and connection that will last a lifetime.
Young adults are thirsting for community. They are discontent because they are the first generation to grow up in an entirely saturated digital world. They are hungry for real life community, but most of them don’t know what community is, and many of them hardly have the ability to carry on interesting conversations and dialogue.
Of course, perhaps I’ve simply drank too much coffee and my mind has wandered, maybe we’re actually living in an awesome world and there are no problems…..then again, maybe I’m onto something.
Categories: Culture & Society