Check out this postcard from this week's PostSecret list:
With confessions like that, it's no surprise that about 80% of workers claim they're not engaged in their work.
That's partly because for a lot of us, work is something we have to do in order to pay for the things we want to do. We work a job (or two or three) in order to buy the things we think we want because we saw them on TV when we can home from all those jobs.
For others of us, we're stuck working a job we just don't like all that much. And we feel like there's so much more out there. This is why we want to be entrepreneurs as we seek to turn our passion into our profession.
If any generation can change what work looks like and means, it's this generation. A lot of things will end. A lot of things will begin. And everything will be different.
While this can be attributed to a new or different economy, a lot of it is because of one simple fact: the next generation is more concerned with identity than profession. We're more focused on the type of people we want to become rather than the kind of job we want to have.
This doesn't explain all the job-hopping in and of itself. But, we move and shake and start and leave jobs because we want one that fits us. We don't leave just because work sucks. We leave because it sucks for us. We don't want the easy way out – we want the meaningful way in. We want to have jobs that mean something to us and allow us to pay for those things we need (and those things we want, too).
I ultimately left the hotel world because it didn't offer a schedule that allowed me to spend time with my wife as much as I'd like. It didn't mean I didn't want to work 50-hour weeks. I just didn't want to work them while not seeing the person I'd just married. It didn't mean I did'’t want to pay my dues (a crappy term if I ever heard one); it just meant I didn't want to pay them at a job that didn’t seem very meaningful each and every day.
The quest for a passion-based job is one that will haunt this generation. We tried a lot of things growing up (little league, ballet classes, piano lessons, science camp) in a quest to find what it was we enjoyed doing. And then in college, with newfound freedom, we hung out with who we wanted, took the classes we liked and joined fraternities and sororities and clubs doing things important to us.
Companies can add nap rooms and let me decorate my cubicle in a style of my choosing if they want to. But I'm not taking a job because you let me nap. I'm taking a job because you let me be me and find that sweet spot where my passion and my profession meet.
The next generation wants to make a difference and make meaning in the process. If a company doesn't have a chance for me to keep the most important thing the most important thing, then I need not apply.