Recently I’ve been reading a book on World War II that I borrowed from a lady whose father was heavily involved in the atrocities that happened at the end of World War II.
What it got me thinking about is how generations of thinking have been influenced by our parents and what came before us.
And it got me thinking about career. About how the current Generation Y and Generation Z think completely differently about their lives and their careers. About how as baby boomers and GenX, we’re obviously moulded by our parents in how we think.
I think that the older generations have got a lot to learn from current generations.
Let me share with you how they both think about their careers and how you can use that to think about your own career and life.
We talked about the differences in how the previous generation view work and life and how current generations… don’t. Right? We make choices differently. This is really about the choices that you make and the assumptions that you have about your own career and life – I believe that we can learn a lot from the way current GenY and GenZ make choices.
Our parents (maybe it depends on how old you are watching this!), I know my parents kind of thought about careers in this way…
“In your life the key thing is to make a safe choice.” Right?
Get a really safe job, go to university, get a qualification that’s going to lead you to get a job, right?
Because getting a job – “There weren’t many jobs around when I was young and it’s really important to get yourself a safe job.
And then if you can… try and fit your life around it.” Right?
So you’ve got this big focus on safety and getting getting a job and then if you can, fit in time for your for your family, fit in time for your hobbies, If you can. Right? But the key thing is getting that locked in.
I would say that this is probably to some extent the baby boomers primarily, and they’ve done well with that, and then there’s me, part of GenX, which is kind of on the cusp of that baby boomer thinking right?
So, here’s a different way to look at it.
Let’s say we hadn’t experienced a war for 50 years and there was no reason to even think that safety was a problem and actually we had a very open mindset towards what the world could be and my role in it, right? …and so we’ve said “You know what? We’re going to be life designers.” “We’re going to, GenY, Gen Z, we’re going to actually think about how we want our lives to go at different stages and we’re going to make choices that are about our lives.” OK? So our choices are going to be primarily about our lives... And you know what, at certain times if that means we have to sacrifice career, career’s only one small element of our life. You know what? I’m NOT going to go on that career trajectory inside a corporate and try and work my way up, I’m going to pull beers in the UK for three or four years because that’ll be fun and I’ll see Europe, and THAT’S more important to my life than the safety of a stable career.
Why do I bring this up right now? I bring this up because for many of you out there you’re making choices about your career, you’re making choices that are based on assumptions that may not be relevant right now.
What I want you to think about is: What assumptions are you making about your career and about your life?
Do you want to err on the side of safety and have something that’s stable?
Or do you want to be more of a life designer and think about your life and how your career might fit within it?
Have a think about this one and how it applies to you, and leave me a comment down below:
If you’re going to be a life designer, if you’re going to take what Gen Y and Gen Z have taught us about how to live a good life and career…
What would it mean for your next career choice?
Talk to you soon on The Reason & The Road.