Day 21: There’s Nothing Wrong With Mobility

Move away from the notion of giving millennials a bad rap for wanting to move

An article I wrote for the Miami Herald and Sun Sentinel that has not been published yet but will be next month

Loyalty. The dictionary definition of the word is “giving or showing firm and constant support or allegiance to a person or institution.” I am 22 years old and looking at my parents’ generation, the generation before them, and all the ones that proceeded, loyalty remains one of the strongest moral concepts that we cling to with relentlessness. Loyalty to your loved ones, loyalty to your preferred brands, loyalty to the company you work for — wait let’s examine that last one. We have all at some point heard of how work used to transpire. You get hired as an entry level worker at a company, 30 years later you’ve risen through every division, every rank, and now you get your beautiful gold Rolex before you set off into the sunset. That was simply put, the way it was.

Allow me to be one who vehemently opposes this view point.

I recognize it won’t be the most popular opinion, yet hear me out. Today, my generation has access to more opportunities than ever before, more connections thought imaginable, and an ability to acquire information faster than anyone could have fathomed — let us not forget that information is the most valuable commodity. Life today no longer has the same archaic rigid constructs. Look around, realize how quickly everything changes (the next iPhone might come out when this is published). Our contemporary environment preys on this notion. We are encountered with a barrage of questions that range from “are you happy where you are?” to “how long do you see yourself working there?” Have we not once stopped to instead ask two meaningful questions as we advance in our professional lives: “what steps are you taking towards your personal growth?” and “is the work you are currently doing meaningful and helping you move closer towards your goals?”

Is the function of our professional lives not to grow in all aspects?
Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

For some perhaps that means staying with a company for 40 years and that gives them fulfillment. For others that sense of accomplishment may reside in a resume that has them with 7 different organizations in 10 years. The latter should not invoke a sense of fear. We have lost sight of the beauty that is human growth and potential. Should we not foster curiosity and the pursuit of greatness with today’s generation rather than conformity and rigidness? Change happens: it is how society advances, how mavericks are born, the longer we resist the more we stifle our growth. Today’s world fosters mobility, why do we then vilify those who decide to be professionally mobile. Is not the acquisition of new skills and experiences more attractive than someone whose work experience is monotonous?

Millennials get a bad rap in the workplace — one that screams we aren’t stable. I would caution against this thinking. Instead celebrate how diversified of a skill set those in the job market are today. Next time a resume slides over your desk and you see multiple jobs in a short amount of time, before you shred it ask yourself a simple question, “can we provide an environment that fosters growth in this individual that they will stay with us long term?” Perhaps then we will alter our perspective on mobility.