A large portion of the conference I attended this past weekend was to have an opportunity to network with the organization that funds my current research. In order to get me pumped up about working for them and for them to line up future employees, there were several workshops about what their research interests/needs are, as well as workshops that focused on how we can further ourselves professionally, including how to find a job that is “the right fit”.
I think this idea of finding the perfect job right out of school is debilitating for many people my age. I’ve heard of many students (as well as myself) who are so concerned with the job search and the “doomsday” feel it seems to bring. What if they don’t like the one they choose and their stuck in a horrible, boring job for the rest of their lives? The pressure is almost too much.
In one workshop, a man made an analogy that almost knocked me out of my chair:
“Don’t worry about having the first job you ever take fulfill you completely. Most likely you won’t. You’ll accept it and then a year later realize its not for you, but its just important to get your foot in the door. See, your generation is very different than mine. In my generation, your job was like a marriage. You get your job and you stay with it the rest of your life, no matter how much you don’t like it and want to try something new. Nowadays, career paths are much different. You’ll have many jobs over the lifetime of your career and its very rare to stay with just one job.”
So…what does that say about our marriages now though? Is our job not like marriage anymore, or is it just like our marriages now? Why do we put so much pressure on the idea of our careers fulfilling us completely anyway?
I’ve heard about this trend before but I’ve never thought of it in terms of marriage and to have the man blatantly make the analogy was like being hit in the head with a 2×4.
Do you think the career path trend reflective of our “non-committal” attitude? Or am just a random coincidence that I’m looking into too much?