As some people on Twitter can attest to, I have a weird relationship with office jobs. I'll jump into a job, get bored of it a couple of months later and quit, then jump into another job and get bored of that and quit, then jump into another job, and so forth. In fact, last year, I quit three office jobs in D.C. in less than one year.
This keeps happening, and for a while I stayed away from office jobs because I felt so worthless and unmotivated because the corporate world was not working out for me.
In the nine months I spent away from office life, I learned a lot of things about millennials, including the fact that I'm not alone in hating office jobs. Millennials are said to be the most entrepreneurial generation, a.k.a. more likely to quit their day jobs and hustle. According to a Gallup poll, 60% of millennials would quit their day jobs right now if you offered them a ticket out.
And guess what-- Gen Z is said to be even more entrepreneurial. We simply haven't fully experienced them in the workforce yet.
Why is it like this? How come the younger a generation is, the more likely they are to be hustlers and the harder time they have trying to fit with the corporate world?
I have a few theories, and I believe they are all interconnected:
1. Travel and technology
Boomers like to call millennials lazy and entitled for not wanting to stick it out at our day jobs. But they have no idea how wrong they are.
Technology has advanced at an exponential rate during the past couple of decades, and the corporate world is barely keeping up. Millennials, who are more adept at the latest technologies than any generation before us, know that most of the work we are doing at our 9-5 office jobs can be done on our phones, from anywhere in the world, at any time of the day.
Millennials are sitting at our office desks 8-15 hours a day watching the hours pass and our lives fade to dust while knowing that we could have done the same amount of work from anywhere in the world on our laptops in just a couple of hours. And we didn't have to waste time getting all dressed up in our stupid heels or suits.
According to the following chart I saw on Zerohedge earlier today, productivity in the U.S. is declining. And it makes so much sense when you think about it.
The corporate world simply has not adapted to the new world. The world of entrepreneurs and freelancers is competing with ours. Those guys are getting paid to do the same work in much, much less time. And they can adjust their rates. While we sit in a dark depressing room making somebody else rich. Isn't that reason enough for us to feel unmotivated and stagnant at our office jobs?
2. Short attention spans
Everybody knows that with the rise of quick travel, technology, and efficiency comes shorter attention spans-- and with every generation, our attention spans become shorter.
Millennials have an attention span of 12 seconds, according to Forbes. Generation Zers have an attention span of 8 seconds. Imagine forcing Gen Zers to sit at a desk in a stuffy room for 9 hours a day. They'd go nuts.
As new generations develop, we need more jobs that fit with our lifestyles, and our brains. And that doesn't make us less smart or capable. It just means the office life simply does not fit short attention spans.
Even Einstein had ADHD. So what?
3. More opportunities
Older generations love to warn us about how difficult everything is going to be for us and how we can't succeed in life if we don't force ourselves to tolerate an unpleasant work life. But we know that it doesn't have to be that way.
As the economy continues to grow, more opportunities arise, and they are easier for us to find because of how much easier instant communication is in our generation. We don't have to sit at a low-paying job doing work we aren't excited about when another more exciting opportunity presents itself. And employers should appreciate this attitude which gets them the kind of employees who actually want to be working for them.
If not for the attitude of millennials readily quitting their day jobs in hopes of something better, nobody would be moving forward. Corporations would stagnate completely, productivity would become zero, and everybody would become depressed and want to shoot themselves.
Quitting doesn't have to be a bad thing. As someone who has quit numerous jobs at this point (I can't even count lol) and moved to a happier frame of mind with each transition, the only real regret I have is not leaving some of those jobs earlier.
P.S.- I like my job now. It's not a regular 9-5 job. It's still an office job, which drives me mad sometimes. So I try to walk around a lot and visit the Capitol next door every once in a while. But the unconventional hours and my ability to read books, socialize around the office, and do other things during downtime, make things a lot easier.