It’s All About the Job

A new survey of people betwen the ages of 18 and 30 reported that they cared more about having a good job than getting married or owning a home. Which pretty much explains the city survey. I wonder if those numbers have changed over time. I also wonder if once people turn 30, they suddenly start caring about starting a family.


16 thoughts on “It’s All About the Job

  1. Here in the land of ridiculous housing prices, young people have given up on the idea of owning a home. It’s more like parts of Europe where people rent for life. And similar to any drop in marriage – they are still making life commitments, but not necessarily marrying.

    So the substance is similar but the outer trappings have changed.


  2. Well duh. Getting a good job is something that has to happen before you can think about getting married or owning a home. As for starting a family, in my environs people aren’t waiting for marriage to do that.


  3. I don’t believe that it’s “all about the job”. Well, I agree with La Lubu in that you do need gainful employment to finance your life. Beyond that, and this ties into the post about artisanal whatever, I actually think that this new generation is on to something. And I so appreciate that I can enjoy some of it too.

    I’m so over the big, impersonal experience and so love the indie coffee shops, grocers, butchers and other places that I can walk to and actually know the proprietors. Have a relationship with someone who lives in my ‘hood. It reminds me of my late MIL – she knew her butcher and shoemaker and grocer and baker. In between came our love affair with the large impersonal chains.

    Sure there are some poseurs who are all about image but I find that just as much and more these are real people looking for a different experience under more challenging times than I grew up in. Living here they won’t ever save up enough to own a house. The job market isn’t that great. So what do many do? Become entrepreneurs, live in a rental apartment or basement suite.

    It’s a slower pace with more personal connections.


    1. I shop at Giant, but I know my butcher (Wayne – he sets asise marrow bones for my dogs), the deli manager (LaShonda – our kids are the same age and she always tells me which rotisserie chicken is freshest) and, if she is working, I go through Sheryl’s line. The idea that you csm only have personal connections with small proprietors is dumb.

      I think, where I live, the real difference is that Wayne, LaShonda, and Sheryl are black and small proprietors are usually white. Entrepreneurs don’t get to live at a slower, more relaxed pace. They are always working and worrying.


      1. I didn’t say that you could only have personal connections with small proprietors but rather that there is a shift away from the impersonal.



      2. And being an entrepreneur is hugely challenging – way more time and risk involved than being an employee. I’m impressed with anyone who takes it one and makes a go of it.


      3. Fascinating that you know the workers at the Giant. I don’t know any of the workers at the grocery shops I go to. I think this might be a failure on my part, ’cause some of them might know me. I wonder if the people are the same, and my poor facial recognition skills means I don’t know them? Or, have i grown up so completely in the model of not trusting people who are selling me things and expecting to do all the research myself, that I don’t care to know the feedback of the folks who work there?

        Speculating now, I think my main issue with the personalized model is that I don’t really trust individuals giving advice (and that’s true for lawyers, doctors, teachers, schools, financiers, . . . .). People like me pose a challenge for the non-Amazon model. I wonder how people would earn my respect and trust? Hard to, if they don’t get a chance first.


      4. Sandra,

        Sorry for any accidental cold pricklies!

        I was thinking of the attitude not so much as a huge moral failing, but as something that could lead to a bad vocational choice. (“I like espresso and hanging out at Starbucks, so running a coffee shop will be awesome!” or “I like artfully frosting and pinteresting a dozen cupcakes, so I will LOVE running a cupcake shop and doing thousands of them.”)

        Up the road from my parents’ shop in WA near a National Park is a small store that is appears cursed. It has attracted a seemingly endless stream of dreamers, each of whom believes that he or she is going to fix it up (as none of the previous owners has managed to) and start minting money. One of the many failures was a guy who was an avid fisherman and apparently believed that his hobby would combine well with running a very small gas station/snack shop that needed to be staffed during all daylight hours.

        My parents and sister and brother-in-law all have tourist businesses in that area, and the heart-breaking fact is that the tourist season is about 100 days, which covers all of the warmish, sunnyish days of the year. My parents have gotten to the point where they can take off occasionally, but in the early days, I’m sure it was a little bittersweet to sell outdoor gear, knowing they weren’t going to get to go camping.


      5. AmyP – 😉

        bj – I find the opposite, that I “trust” the chain store employees less because they have no skin in the game. It doesn’t matter if I ever come back but to my neighborhood indie shop, it means breaking even or not. So it’s in their best interest to provide good service/products and honest advice. Bad word of mouth will kill their business.

        AmyP – Yes, I see what you were getting at. One of my “hobbyhorse” topics is this idea that we should all strike out on our own and follow our bliss/make our creative passion into our full time paid work. Same idea – just because you are a great writer/photographer/artist/baker/whatever, doesn’t mean that you also have the skills or interest in handling the marketing/accounting/finance/managing that is involved in owning a business. The successful ones that I’ve seen have the self knowledge to get that. And understand that you might have to shoot a few weddings to pay the bills in addition to the photography you may really love.

        I’m more a fan of having a regular steady income and then doing the creative stuff as a side project.

        There’s a grocer/cafe on a lake near where we cottage and it has the same problem – you need deep pockets or a variety of income streams to carry you through the winter til the next summer.


      6. BJ, having done service industry work in the past, I know what it feels like to be treated as if you are a function and not a person. I make a point of getting to know people’s names and something about them. I know the names of all the janitors that take care of the floor I work on at my job, but I suspect I am one of very few people there who know any of their names.


    1. I do think that’s a bit of a change, though, from a past where “marrying” was more of a goal that one worked towards. I think there are differences based on subcultures in the US, but in my subculture I think people expect to marry someone they meet along the way to the job — that they will meet their partner in college or at their job (or through professional connections with their job). I imagine an olden days in which young people were brought together in other venues (country clubs, churches/synagogues, . . .) to find marriage partners. This may be one (of many other) explanations for the historically low marriage rates. And, although cohabiting does replace marriage to some extent, it’s not the same as having marriage as a goal.


      1. I think it’s natural (and probably most efficient) to work on one goal at a time.

        My parents (and lots of other people that age) got married in college and lots of us here got married in graduate school (but I think graduate school really ought to be counted as “work” if it’s a doctoral program with a TAship and such).

        My current thinking on this is that I’ve gotten leery of the marriage-right-after-college-graduation model, which is popular hereabouts. College is such an unreal and cushioned environment that I’m not sure how much information it provides about a future spouse–one might unwittingly marry a person who was incapable of getting anywhere before 11 AM and one might have absolutely no idea how the person functions as an employee or apartment dweller.

        Maybe college plus one year of “real world” as a minimum? (Of course, some people will have done their “real world” before college, for instance in the military.)


  4. Giant and Safeway are union shops. I suspect the workers in those stores may have more longetivy with the store, thus making it easier to develop a relationship with them.


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