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Bridget Nielsen

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How the Rebellious Youth and the Job World Work Together

Posted: 06/16/10 07:10 PM ET

We have all broken a rule or two. Even the most calm and controlled of us remembers perhaps stealing candy at a store as a kid or drinking alcohol before our twenty-first birthday. We all pushed the limit with our parents' rules, entering the "gray" area of the black and white discussion more often than not. We crave rebellion from an early age and are constantly told to "grow up" and get responsible. We love riskiness and playfulness and are consistently reminded that this has no place in the career world. In the young generation's "Age of Rebellion" though, our generation works perfectly with the new career world at hand.

Risk and rebellion are not only sexy and intriguing to all of us, but they have also recently become "safe" in the sense that less people are finding fulfillment in conventional and predictable careers and are opting to open their own businesses, travel internationally, and pave their own paths altogether. The youth's rebellion from the traditional has morphed into a super-force of excitement, becoming a catalyst for innovation, invention, and creativity with constant successful reminders as they interact on their beloved Apple products. The young generation is one of global communication and world efforts through grass root campaigns. We unite not only under worldwide charities and non-profit campaigns, but also via Facebook and YouTube videos. We value those than can put a fresh spin on an old perspective and celebrate those that successfully go against the norms of the past.

Often, the business world and the "real world" in general are painted as a sea of suits and mundane numbers. We look at the business world and we see our bored (and sometimes boring) parents. After they graduated, "they took jobs, married, bought houses, raised 'perfect' children, and now they are retiring to Florida to golf away their remaining years." We have graduated and we do not want to become our parents. Though we are big dreamers and planners, our generation is unique in feeling that we do not want to see our lives played out and planned for us at age twenty-two. We long to see what happens and where life's adventures lead us. Even after graduation, when we realize that life is sometimes a storm of debt, bills, and failures, we crave freedom from these trappings. We think, "How, in this scenario, will I continue to feel that rush of adrenalin that keeps me awake at night in a fever of schemes and plans?"

Our generation is doing more to change the world and reshape the future than any one before us, and it is time we start acting like it when we job hunt or go to work each day. Entering the real world should not be a daunting task of shedding the previous habits or mentalities of our childhood or about growing up. Yes, we ought to learn responsibilities and humbly mature as people, but also recognize that our youthful rebellion is perfect for the job world. Nothing could ever be accomplished if everyone did their job exactly like the one that came before them. "Innovative, successful start-ups are fueled by fresh, new thinking." Even more exciting is the fact that many of the available jobs for our generation have never existed before and do not even have a predecessor.

It is an exciting thing that traditional paths fail to excite us. We should not become disheartened or mediocre in our goals because of this. You do not ever have to settle for something that does not suit the passion within you. I must address the essence of entitlement and privilege appearing in the youth that must be transcended. The creativity and "rebellion" I speak of must be released from a place of humble gratitude, and respecting the authority figures at your job, by knowing your role. These paths do not need to become the ones we take. Instead, embrace the rebellion within you and go after the working world with that fire. Stop limiting yourself in imagining your future, and continue to take risks even when you apply for jobs.

As Muhammad Ali said, "just remember that you don't have to be what they want you to be." Each morning, wake up and subsequently let go of others' expectations and even the expectations that you sometimes put on yourself. Take fresh ideas with you to work each day that perhaps rebel a little against what is usually expected. It's time that we realize "we need to play, maintain a free spirit, and a youthfulness of giddy excitement" in order to truly find passion in our career.


 
 
 

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