A few years ago, I applied for a job at a popular, globally recognized company. The interviewer expressed concern that “ad people like you usually stick around for only two to three years.” I stared blankly, not knowing what to say. I couldn’t tell if, to him, two to three years was a long or short time.
For any other Gen Zers who are wondering—it’s a short time. Unbeknownst to me, it’s not uncommon for people to stay at the company in question—and lots of other companies—for decades. For many in my generation, this seems not only unattainable but downright ludicrous. But where does this Gen Z entitlement come from?
In this industry, if you get laid off, that’s show business. Young marketing professionals are well aware that a company does not equate to family and businesses need to do what they have to do to pay the bills. I graduated college in 2020 during the pandemic and all the junior marketing leads I had lined up were no longer available. Simultaneously, entire teams were being let go. According to the Pew Research Center, the nation’s “quit rate” reached a 20-year high in November 2021—the height of the Great Resignation. Many industries transformed to work-from-home environments, which once seemed unthinkable. This led us to question other workplace assumptions that also seemed impossible. What is efficiency supposed to look like? Can we work from home permanently? Will robots take our jobs? Will I even survive climate change to be able to enjoy retirement?