The Curious Case of Baby Boomers

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benbuttonWhile watching The Curious Case of Benjamin Button last week, I couldn’t help but notice that the film namesake dabbles in a variety of jobs. I’m not giving away any spoilers by saying that Benjamin Button is one of those cinematic characters, much like Forrest Gump, who explores so many careers that I end up feeling envious of him. I sat in the theater thinking that no one has that many job experiences unless they’re continuously getting fired.

I stand corrected.According to this news release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, adults born in the tail end of the baby boomer generation held an average of 10.8 jobs from the ages or 18 to 42. And of those jobs, 2/3 were held between the ages of 18-27.  That averages out to holding on to a job for less than a full year until they reached the age of 27, which is interesting if you think that Generation Y/Millennials are getting the credit (or blame) for job hopping. It turns out the trend was started with their parents.

The release also points out a few other interesting tidbits:

  • “Women with a college degree held 11.5 jobs from ages 18 to 42, compared to 10.7 jobs for similarly educated men.”
  • “Among jobs started by workers when they were ages 38 to 42, 31 percent ended in less than a year, and 65 percent ended in fewer than 5 years.”
  • Growth rates in earnings generally were higher for college graduates than for workers with less education.

Are you following the trend that Boomers set with their job hopping, or are you the kind of employee who grows where you’re planted?

  1. I’ve done both. Some jobs are a shorter tenure, others are many positions within one company over a period of years. Both work. No one should be penalized for moving around – that’s a great way to learn.

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