are we amidst a career revolution or are we just lazy
I don't recall the last time I've had a conversation with someone who is in love with their job, it's actually quite the contrary. And I don't mean cliche responses like "my job is not fulfilling" or "I should be making more" or "my job doesn't make my heart beat faster," but more on the side of "I want to quit this right now and go become a farmer in Oklahoma instead."
This is my first and last time being 23 and my slow introduction to adulthood (the world shut down 9 months after graduation for me) so perhaps this is a common occurrence, but anecdotal "testimonies" around me as well as articles like the NYT's Welcome to the Yolo Economy are telling me otherwise. I've heard it being expressed as "the veil has been lifted" - I was even been featured on a TikTok pointing out how many minority (mostly Asian) investment bankers are quitting their jobs. As much as I enjoy internet fame and want to express my participation in my daily pondering of "should I become a missionary," this philosophical shift in what we should pursue is most likely a juxtaposition of:
People having too much time on their hands during COVID to be introspective and thinking about "what they actually want in life" as well as a reflection on the fragile nature of human life itself
Many white collar, high-income, 20 somethings who've gained massive amounts of wealth living with their suburban parents and investing in TSLA, DOGE and simply the S&P who now feel like they have the ability to "waste some time" exploring (in many cases, they actually do)
An explosion of online resources and digital jobs that allow you to make actively passive income (drop shipping and Youtube or both) that makes you feel like you can sustain a lifestyle without subscribing to a traditional job
And perhaps the most important root of these revelations about pursuing what actually matters - our generation's inherent belief from the lessons we've learned from Disney Channel and our loving parents that we are special. We were all deemed geniuses at one point in our elementary school careers, complimented for our good looks from our neighbors and constantly reminded through the media and billboard ads that we are destined to make the world a better place. We're all leaders and we can all be Steve Jobs as long as we find that one thing we're better than everyone at
I'd argue the four reasons listed above, my snarkiness aside, are relatively positive reasons why this new (or old, depending on whether this is just a phase anyone in their 20's goes through) school of thought is the way it is. It's good to be introspective and understand what you actually want, growing your net worth early is awesome and recommended by all wealth managers and experts, access to success at a mass scale for anyone that's worth it equalizes the playing field for those without the means to get there without money and whether it's true or not, having high self-worth is generally a good thing. There's a multitude of signs that COVID-19 has expedited what was coming anyways.
However, the cynic in me can't help but think that a lot of this is derived from laziness. I'll be the first one to admit it - I'm looking for easy and quick ways to become fully financial independent and while I've never clicked on one of those "make six figures working two hours a week drop shipping" videos, I sure have been tempted. It genuinely makes my stomach hurt to think about people out there who've cashed out on DOGE. But these are exceptions - and sure, there may be more exceptions than before (and definitely our awareness of such exceptions have skyrocketed through the www) but these are still statistical anomalies.
I think moving forward, our generation will continue to struggle with the balance of striking rich through Internet Money vs. persisting through what our parents have told us to be the way (doctor, lawyer, banker, engineer). In the limited scope of what I understand to be "life," I think the biggest beneficiaries will be those that can do both and the ultimate losers being those who half-ass both ends. In short, I wish I was Logan Paul with a JD.