What does it mean to have a career in the current job market?

With the depressed state of the job market, many recent college grads have found themselves putting their careers on hold. Instead of honing long-lasting positions, they have ended up taking any available work that pays the bills.

American children still grow up with the engrained idea that success means getting a good job right out of college and keeping that job for as long as possible. Now, any job is a good job, and they’re difficult enought to maintain as it is. Fresh college grads don’t want to stay in more transitional work such as food service, but many have little choice but to hang on to any available source of income.

There’s a need to reconfigure the idea of success. This is a generation that has always been told that it cannot fail and will not fail, yet there is no opportunity to succeed in a conventional manner. The reality is that it will not be possible for many people to nurture a long relationship with a single company, or even a single profession. Current estimates say that these new workers can expect to change jobs ten times before the ago of 40. It’s a daunting number, but it also allows for people to try doing many different kinds of jobs. Versatility and flexibility are required. Recent college graduates also have to prove how resilient they are, considering that they must come to terms with their dream jobs being more inaccessible than they ever dreamed while growing up. Financial stability and independence has, by necessity, become a higher priority than personal satisfaction with one’s work. A recent New York Times article questioned “What if the secret to success is failure?”, and that seems like a mindset that is necessary to develop. Raising children to expect success has only created widespread disappointment.

The concept of a career is evolving, and job-hunting young Americans need to adapt to it. Longevity may be questionable, but it’s up to new workers to find out what they can do.

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