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It’s a changing world out there.
You feel it. I feel it. And today’s generation of 20 somethings — a generation I’m included in — feels it more than ever.
Much of this change has happened under our watch. We were the generation that grew up thinking we could do whatever we wanted, but at the same time were told that if we followed the rules we would be successful in life.
Yet we’ve also watched jobs that we may have aspired to as kids disappear.
Jobs like travel agents…
And many more non-tradable jobs — gone. Or at least going quickly, soon to be gone. Replaced by computers and cheap labor.
(Heck, we can’t even be astronauts anymore. And who didn’t want to be an astronaut as a kid?)
These jobs and others like them are no longer an option for us.
Seth Godin has been talking about this change — what he calls the post-industrial revolution — for years.
He says that our current education system, created in the early 20th century, purposely churns out well-behaved factory workers:
“Large-scale education was never about teaching kids or creating scholars. It was invented to churn out adults who worked well within the system.”
We are those adults now.
And because we were taught to stay inside the box, to be good and do what we’re told and behave like obedient factory workers, we’re now flailing.
We did (what we thought was) the right thing, and now the system is falling apart.
It’s because of this that so many of my peers don’t have the slightest clue what to do with their life. And how could they? The world they thought they were going to reach adulthood in is changing rapidly.
Factory-based, mindless career options are going out the window. We can no longer rely on the jobs of the past to make a good future for ourselves.
Gone are the days when we can push a button or even tell somebody else what to do for a living. We have to start creating things, or the world will pass by without us.
It’s true: the answer isn’t simple. It means we have to do something proactive, to go against our boss’s word and initiate something, to start our own business, to have original ideas — things that are inherently against what we were taught in school.
There’s no doubt about it: this is scary.
But standing by idly and waiting for someone to recognize our shiny college degrees and straight-A GPA’s is no longer an option.
We have to fulfill our own dreams now. Tap into our forgotten creativity. Do something worth talking about.
The alternative: to let the rest of the world pass us by as we hold onto our hope of getting paid for doing nothing.
Which will you choose?