I sit everyday in the middle of a classroom full of highly ambitious and enthusiastic students, who one day want to become successful lawyers, but are not very sure what made them choose this field.
Out of the many conversations I have had with my batchmates, some common answers include:
- “Everyone in my family is a lawyer.”
- “No one in my family is a lawyer.”
- “I had no other option.”
- “I did not qualify for any other field.”
- “It’s either doctor, engineer or a lawyer in my city.”
- “This is good money.”
- “Well, I kind of like the subject.”
Did you notice that hardly any answer shows confidence in their own choice? Because most of the time, each career choice that the youth today faces is a result of uncountable Gen-X clashes, or a blind race to fit in – fit inside the norms of the traditional professional employment!
But if the decision making is left to be an area of concern for the youth itself, what do you think this unencumbered process will be like?
Well here’s the subtle truth – the many jobs available today are probably all wrong for the youth of the 21st century.
The scenario is very similar to the story of the Ugly duckling, where the duck spent his entire life thinking he is just an ugly duck, until the moment he realized he is actually a beautiful swan. Everything became outrageously upsetting for him because he did not find who he really was a little sooner. The professions today are the stimulus to the Ugly ducklings among the youth and they do not fail to recognize this fact.
According to The Atlantic, from the millions who enter the job market every year, most remain underemployed because everyone is asking the youth to attend universities, and to claim their professional degrees, but according to the youth, the moment they graduate and start their professional lives, the situation is like an empty cliff.
The problem with the traditional professions is not only that they are not attractive anymore, but also that they are just not enough to keep the youth employed for a long time. Every profession is a fight through cut-throat competition and is devoid of fair employment options. It does not spark the sense of fulfillment that the youth craves to outshine through.
The youth is more likely to be found going against the traditional work week, the 9-5 job days, but at the same time will be found working extra hours as freelancers, or working in multiple jobs, or even their own startups, as stated in Why Millennials are reprioritizing.
If I ask “Is success in the 21st century really defined as the cycle college – good job – marriage – retirement?”, the answer in all probability would be negative. This is because traditional jobs are no longer seen as a measure of success, because for the youth there is always so much more to do.
In an article by Paul Angone, Why Gen Y Won’t Have a Career, he rightly quotes,
“Gen Y won’t climb the ladder. Gen Y will swim from island to island, picking up necessary survival skills at each destination.”
The traditional professions are stifling for a generation that is a jack of all trades, and who has too many interests and too little attention span to be belittled by a profession for too long!1