The Gold Watch Doesn’t Exist Anymore

How long have you been at your current job? Is it the only job you’ve ever had? My grandfather worked for the same company for decades and received the ubiquitous gold watch when he retired. His generation was synonymous with loyalty, consistency, and working the same 9-5 until they retired.

This generation isn’t the same….and that’s not a bad thing. I’ve read so many articles and blogs about Generation X, Millennials, and those who fall in between (people my age) and the constant job hopping. There are so many people who judge hopping as a bad thing; a sign of inconsistency or unprofessionalism. These people miss one thing: the rules have changed and the gold watch doesn’t exist anymore.

Technology and innovation have drastically changed the job market today. Skills needed, job elimination, education advancements, and remote work options have transformed the job market that is available to today’s workforce. Why judge today’s candidates based on the work ethic of a generation that had different needs, expectations, and opportunities? Today’s worker, especially the young professional, hops because they haven’t found their place yet. If you haven’t been paying attention, this generation wants to make a difference, wants to be heard, wants to shake their fist and be a part of the change they want to see in this world. It doesn’t make them bad people, it doesn’t make them snowflakes, and it doesn’t make them inconsistent.

It makes their resume a map.

The next time you check out someone’s LinkedIn profile actually look at it. This is their work life, their professional journey. Now, this is the marketer in me, but look at the story it tells. Are they passionate about something? Is there a common thread that runs through it? What does it say about the larger picture of their journey? Now… ask yourself this question: what story does my work history tell?

If you look at mine, for instance, you will find one very common thread. I like to help people and be a part of someone’s passion. I want to show someone how to turn on their light. I did it as a teacher working with LD students. I do it now as a business counselor who shows entrepreneurs how they can share their business with others. I yearn to see the light bulb. That is my story. That is my Holy Grail. I don’t want a watch, even if it did exist for me and I am not alone.

If you are still reading this, I ask you to look at each other and recognize the maps we are all creating: with rivers, deserts, and hopefully an oasis, where we can truly realize and manifest the person we want to become. That is the new prize, not a watch.

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