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04/18/2010

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It goes both ways. In many ways, it does "suck to be us." But I think a lot of it has to do the economy. Interns are now doing the work that 10 years ago would have been a paying job. (The work of a Producer is now done by a Production intern.) While I have yet to have a friend that has graduated with a degree in accounting that has NOT found a job - my friends who graduate with degrees in education can't find jobs because they "don't have enough experience" - but no one will give them their first experience!

There is a significantly greater number of my friends who graduated and have no job than otherwise. The most stressful part of my life right now is not getting my degree, but getting a job. And trying to do that by working as much as I can and interning wherever I can eventually affects my grades.

It's a vicious and terrifying cycle to be in your early twenties on the search for a job.

Great conversation Jon. I think I fall into the "you can be as, if not more, successful than your parents" camp. It will be different for sure. What got you here won't get you there. Today's young people will not be able to do the same things their parents did. If they do, they will not achieve superior or even equal results. Times have changed and thus how you make your success in the world must change. It reminds me of the cog vs the linchpin discussion. Do what the past generation did and become a cog, easily replaced in time. Adapt to the new economy of work and become a linchpin, not easily replaced. Success is there for the taking, it just needs some creative thinking and execution to make it your own.

One benefit the current generation has that we and our parents did not is that they have any information regarding any subject at their fingertips. The problem with that is, so does everyone else. How will these young people differentiate themselves from everyone else? The factor is probably not going to be knowledge. So how do they stand out in the marketplace? I think one aspect would be initiative coupled with follow through. You can have all the knowledge in the world but you must be able to execute and follow through. I refer to this generation as the "Polly-pocket" generation. They have been raised in a very "perfect" world (for the most part) and when things aren't "perfect" they often are paralyzed by fear. What if I make a mistake? What if I fail? The younger generation must get over that fear if they intend to succeed. I see a lot of study of knowledge without a lot of execution. Our generation often forged ahead and then asked for forgiveness later. Success requires greater bravery than fear.

Sarah, Perry and Bonnie - thank you for your thoughtful comments. The common thread I see is the approach one takes. Your positive view, Perry, has to be the way to move forward. (And the reference to Seth Godin's "Linchpin" book was spot on). Sarah, Bonnie is approaching things one step (dish - read her blog) at a time with her big picture goal out there. You do the same - - differently from the others - - to show your talents. Positive attitude, being (a bit) different, will tell the tale.

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