Tag Archives: salary

Kids and Twenty-Somethings: More in Common Than You Think

31 Mar

After Jurassic Park came out, I wanted to be a Dinosaur Princess.

I just turned 23 last week.  Every time you have a birthday, you may take a moment to reflect and think, “Is this really where I thought I was going to be when I was a kid?”  The answer is: probably not, unless you envisioned living at home and watching Law and Order: SVU with your mom ad nauseum.

For one, most kids can’t grasp the idea of aging; I’m pretty sure that as a five year old, I didn’t think the age 23 existed; you were either a baby (and no fun because you couldn’t ride Big Wheels), five, or old.  And if you asked me how “old” old was, I would probably either say 100, or 12.  Nothing random like the early twenties.  Secondly, your adorably clueless five year old brain couldn’t understand that one day you would have to have a serious answer to the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  There comes a point where you just can’t respond with “Batman!” or “a ballerina!” or, as my overachieving six year old sister aspires, “The President, a ballet teacher, a doctor, and in the Olympics.  For figure skating.”

So, my five year old self thought I was either going to be five forever, and the oldest I would probably get would be 13, maybe 14. And if I ever got to be that old and was forced to retire my Big Wheels and get a real job, well then, I would most likely become a princess.  (And if you asked me how I would enter the ranks of royalty, I would shrug, “I dunno, magic, prolly.”)

If this childish innocence doesn’t seem familiar to anyone (really, who are you humorless people?), just look around today’s youth and you’ll see it in droves.  According to Forbes.com, kids are drawn to the fantasy and allure of employment, and have no idea about the true salaries or the availability of positions regarding their dream jobs (like, duh).  For example, some young respondents thought that police officers make a grand total of $29 a year, while older kids thought that dancers rake in $116,000.  The reality? $48,410 and $28,829, respectively.

I think that there are some interesting parallels between kids and recent unemployed grads.  How many of us can say that we aren’t just as clueless about our dream jobs than our five year old counter-parts? Do we know if said dream is a happy, shiny fantasy or a true fit for us and our career ambitions?  What do we actually know about the salary and the upward mobility of this job?  Is this a stable vocation that we can carry-out for the long-term?

Our early twenties is this strange transient phase of our life.  In order to settle it down, we have to be well-organized and well-researched when it comes to our professions.  Do your homework to find out if you truly want to be an astronaut, a movie star, or SpongeBob.  Which may be possible through…I dunno,  magic, prolly.