It seems to be an interesting paradox that according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary – the term career could either mean “an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life” or “to move swiftly and in an uncontrolled way in a specific direction.” In many of the career conversations our team engages in, we are finding that more and more individuals who fit the generation y mold begin their career aspirations thinking in a very linear sequential way. It typically starts with picking major “x” in college thinking that will get them a job doing “x equivalent” once they graduate and then go on to live happily ever after flourishing at “x career.”
In this extremely competitive and global marketplace – what may have worked for the generation before (affectionately known as generation x) is increasingly becoming as outdated as the butterfly collared shirts they wore on their interviews. You see, many born in generation y would subscribe to the latter [uncontrolled] definition of the term career as an accurate depiction of where they are in their career journey. To be clear, we are not suggesting you curtail your plans to enter into college. We actually condone and support you following your passion and subsequently picking a major that edifies and promotes your passion. We simply would like for you to move forward with a slightly different perspective.
What just came to mind after seeing the affable “e-word” derived from the French word entreprendre (meaning to undertake)? Let me guess, someone who doesn’t work for someone else? Someone who quits jobs and takes risks and makes their own money and answers to no one and so-on-and-so-forth (run on sentence – I know). While these are all trace elements of what someone exudes when they have an entrepreneurial spirit, far and too often do we not credit the idea that a true entrepreneur has the remarkable ability to pool resources together with the expressed purpose of producing a projected outcome. We are currently in an age where more and more employers are looking for candidates with a wide-breadth of knowledge all-the-while exercising how resourceful they can be in any given scenario. Pay close attention to some of the more progressive companies and their job descriptions – they are looking for individuals who carry that entrepreneurial spirit. Yes, you can be an entrepreneur on your job utilizing your resources and expertise to produce your desired outcomes. I would also encourage you to take it one step further and expand that entrepreneurial spirit outside of your job and build on the resources, networks, institutional knowledge and financial backing earned and learned at your job to create something of substance that will positively enact change in your line of work. Ahem – as I shamelessly promote how I conceptualized www.thecareerplug.com – simply put, produce your passion and define your career.
Torrence S. Traynham
Torrence S. Traynham is the founder and editor-in-chief of www.thecareerplug.com, a virtual platform created to assist candidates, notably those who fit the corporate criteria of a diversity candidate, in their recruitment, retention and career journey. He currently resides in Brooklyn, NY and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.