Old folks love to blame Millennials and Generation Z for the downfall of society. But if the geezers want to gripe about a lack of loyalty in the workforce, they need to look in the mirror. Here is the story.
Darn Fool Kids
Every generation, it seems, has a beef with the whippersnappers that come up after them.
The kids are disrespectful, can’t hold a job, and generally spell the doom of society.
They Can’t Keep a Job
As proof of all this, Baby Boomers and even Gen Xers often point to the tendency of Millennials and Generation Z workers to job hop like bunnies in spring.
A Man Should Be Loyal
Back in their day, the Boomers say, a man would find himself a good job, settle in for a few decades while he raised a family, then retire and do a little fishing before he died.
Kids Are Soft
Today’s kids, though, don’t have that sort of loyalty, the old-timers say. All they want is easy work, big pay, and lots of time off.
There’s a Problem
But a recent study from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics turns the idea that young workers are nothing but soulless job-hoppers on its head.
According to that white paper, older Millennials who were born between 1980 and 1984 had held about 7 different jobs by age 28 on average.
They Just Kept Moving
And fast-forwarding a few years, Millennials overall had held nearly 9 jobs each by the time they were 34 years old.
Lies and Statistics
That may sound like just the sort of evidence the old-timers need to support their claims that the younger generations are ruining everything.
But it’s only part of the story.
Eight Is More Than One
The rest of the story is that the data shows Baby Boomers themselves had held 8 jobs by age 28.
Old Job Hoppers
And, by age 34, that number climbed to nearly 10 different positions for each Boomer.
Boomers Over Millennials
In case you didn’t do the math in your head, that means Boomers held an average of one more job in their careers than Millennials at a similar age.
Organization Man Myth
So the evidence is pretty clear that the idea of an “organization man” who settles in at one company for his whole career has been a myth for quite awhile.
It Didn’t Stick
Boomers may have grown up with parents who did build stable careers in the aftermath of the turmoil of World War II.
But the idea didn’t really stick with the Boomers themselves.
No Big Surprise
And that’s not really surprising, says sociologist Arne Kalleberg of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Peace, Not Paychecks
After all, it was the Boomers who spawned the hippie movement of the 1960s and 1970s. They were the original “rail against the establishment” generation.
Don’t Work for the Man
And nothing screamed “establishment” back in those days more than the button-down world of corporate work.
Life Just Wasn’t Fair
So, while many Boomers eventually had to face the reality that free love and mud-slung music festivals didn’t pay the bills, they didn’t have to like it.
Off they trudged to corporate jobs of their own, but they were also quick to move on if they thought there were greener pastures somewhere else.
Boomers Just Can’t Win
Now, just when Boomers finally get to be stodgy old grumps, the numbers have caught up with them once again.
Look in the Mirror
It’s not the Millennials that killed the organization man. It’s the Boomers themselves.
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