One career for life? Nah. Maybe two or three?


Success used to mean a decades-long job, a predictable paycheck. But that’s changed. Gen Y can’t be tied down.

Sheila Marikar of the New York Times says millennials define themselves by “the forward slash.” She profiles, for instance, a forensic psychiatrist who doubles as a D.J.; a lawyer who also acts in the TV series “How to Get Away With Murder”; and an admissions officer who spends his spare time as a workout instructor.

“Unlike the legions of Americans who work several jobs out of necessity,” Marikar writes, “[some millennials] elect to stretch themselves thin. While one job usually pays the bills, another gig provides a more creative outlet.” For those of us with practical careers and impractical passions, this makes good sense.

The rest of us may hold only one job at a time, but we’re not known for staying long. Employers call us flaky. However, Derek Thompson of The Atlantic Monthly suggests that switching between multiple post-grad jobs may benefit millennials in the long run. “Jumping between jobs in your 20s, which strikes many people as wayward and noncommittal,” he writes, “improves the chance that you’ll find more satisfying — and higher paying — work in your 30s and 40s.”

Arguably, job-hopping gives millennials a chance to experiment and stumble upon the career that, in the end, could suit them best.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to run off to my third job.

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