When I went off to college, my parents enforced that it wasn’t so much the degree that I earned, so long as I had one. And for them, it was a pretty revolutionary concept. They’d gone to college to get training for a specific job – teaching. And they spent over 20 years apiece, doing that job. They retired and are living happily ever after.
It may seem like an obvious sort of observation, but I’ll make it anyway: Will the majority of my generation spend twenty years doing any one job? How about ten years? Is this because of the dawn of the Internet? The bad economy? Were we enrolled in too many activities as children? Do we engage in riskier businesses? Is it because it’s easier to move from state to state and country to country?
I have had more jobs than I will list on a resume. I was taught that too many will make me look bad. (I’m not looking for a job, by the way) But I wonder if that matters now? Do employers actually hope to get someone in a position that will stay and grow with the company?
And what’s weird for me is that even though I am often the person moving jobs, I’m sad when someone else leaves. My current boss is spending his last week with us this week. I’ve gotten used to him in my life, like when he coins phrases such as “She’d use Google to find Google” and “W.T. Fuck.” (Those are both going in my book, Zach. I’ll acknowledge the shit out of you if it sees print – your dream I’m sure, to see your name in a young adult books.) (Also, I’ll never have another boss as badass as him.) Boo. In my blogging life, I’ve learned that Nathan Bransford is leaving Curtis Brown. Many a hopeful writer out there have long dreamed of him being their agent, myself included. As he leaves his blogging/agenting world, I feel it, though I didn’t know him. In both cases, I find myself with a little bit of a “How could you do this to us?” feeling. I’m pretty sure I know how – business is business – but the feeling is still there. Don’t you love us?
So, do other people wish sometimes that we could still live in that world where we all go to college and become the thing we study to become? Or do we like going from job to job? After all, we can still be Facebook friends. And what the hell does this mean for our retirements? Anyone?