Highlights from Chapter 2 in our forthcoming book.
Some people seem to find their way early in life . . . Kristen lives in Spain and manages construction, repairs, and deliveries for an international company. Michael L. lives in Hawaii and serves the U.S. Marines as an airframe mechanic. And Michael T., who plans to attend law school next, already works as an aide to a Michigan senator. All three Gen Zers featured in this post offer proof through their examples that dream jobs DO come true!
Job: International Facility Manager
Location: Bilbao, Spain
I work for an international company in a department dedicated to Facility Management. I studied management engineering at university, and mostly what I do is arranging the execution of very varied projects (construction work, equipment maintenance and repairs, office services delivery: reception, cleaning, security, etc.) for private companies.
What I most like from my job is that I get the chance to travel around the country visiting clients and that I have earned a lot of responsibility. What I most hate is that every client request is always urgent, and since there is a lack of staff in my department, I cannot respond as good and fast as I think it should be done. Moreover, I feel like I need more training from the company in this field.
My parents both worked in manual labor jobs. I believe my career will be more intellectually based.
Job: Airframe Mechanic for the U.S. Marine Corps
Location: Kailua, Hawaii, U.S.
Michael serves in the U.S. Marine Corps in Kailua, Hawaii. Getting his start in construction work, he’s already working in his dream job as a “non-destructive inspector” managing automated systems.
“I work as an airframe mechanic,” he explains, “repairing structural, hydraulic, and tire assemblies on multiple different aircraft platforms and support equipment. I am also qualified as an aeronautical welder and non-destructive inspector, utilizing radiography, ultrasonic, and a variety of other inspection methods to detect defects in components.
“I earn roughly $80,000 annually. This includes the cost of medical/dental, life insurance, housing allowance, cost of living allowance, etc. I love my job because it is hands on, and each day is a new problem I get to solve.”
Job: Legislative Aide to State Senator
Location: Taylor, Michigan
My dream job is to be a partner at a law firm. Meanwhile, I work as a legislative aide to a State Senator in my home state of Michigan. Within my role, I am in charge of researching policy, taking notes of all meetings that the Senator attends, assisting constituents with any issues that our office has the ability to handle, and many other responsibilities. This job—much like my dream job—is ever changing and entirely mental. I love it because every day is a fresh start and every task is different from the last. It never gets monotonous.
However, it does have its problems. I’m employed at a salaried wage that equates to roughly $16/hour, and surely any college student dreams of this type of position—both for reasons of pay and resume boosting. Yet, most people who fill these positions have graduated from college and in need of a career that can support them as financially independent adults (usually with a significant amount of student loans).
This demonstrates the statistic of college-educated adults that are compensated below the median income of the country. This is disconcerting for a few reasons. Everyone is expected to be significantly competent in a number of difficult skills (e.g. research, interpersonal skills, speech writing, and political maneuvering). The job requirements mixed with the emotional burden that the job can carry—as politics is inherently emotional—is usually not reflected in the compensation that myself and my colleagues receive.
And lastly, there are many times when we’re beholden to people and ideas that we do not support. In the same way that most workers in any field are asked to do tasks they do not want to, we are too. But when we have political disagreements with those who have the power to enact policy (the elected officials), we have no choice but to assist in the carrying out of that which we may wholeheartedly disagree.
That is not to say the job is entirely bad, though. It’s truly exhilarating to be hands-on with fighting for political change, to see my ideas valued in a political setting at such a young age, and to help solve issues for people that need it most.
I expect my labor to be mental as opposed to the manual labor that my parents and grandparents are engaged in. Moreover, I foresee myself in a workplace that is constantly changing and not doing a job that is repetitive from day to day; e.g., law as opposed to factory work.
Cover photograph by harold-mendoza-6xafY_AE1LM for Unsplash. Interior images used with gratitude for open-source site Unsplash: woman holding device is from thisisengineering-raeng-AlzwNY1AIrw; man repairing plane is from pandu-agus-wismoyo-7OgQ-Ze7BXQ; and Michigan Senate floor is from WWMT West Michigan.
This post comes to you as a portion of the book:
MY JOB Gen Z: Finding Your Place in a Fast-Changing World
(c) 2021 by Suzanne Skees and Sanam Yusuf
An open-source, narrative nonfiction book full of true stories of jobs along with best practices for how to make your dream-job come true.
Note from the authors:
Join us each Tuesday and Friday as we release highlights from our new book, that will be FREE to our community members.
Share with your friends and followers; it’s FREE, open-source, and available to everyone.
No one makes a penny on this book project, which is intended to inspire and empower Gen Zers to launch their careers and land their dream jobs. Suzanne and Sanam have volunteered their time, and we’ve chosen this platform to transmit our book so that YOU don’t have to pay for publication costs.
However, if you feel inspired to help someone in poverty to have access to dignified work, jump here to donate directly to the nonprofit job-creation program of your choice–all vetted and supported by Skees Family Foundation.
Thanks for being with us! We’re excited to share our book with you.
–Suzanne & Sanam