Career-hopping Before 30
Find out how many times Gen Ys are switching careers and for what reasons
First published in jobpostings magazine
careers. education. ideas. all of it.
“When I grow up, I want to be a…” You finish the rest.
The career we have now as young adults may or may not have panned out the way we dreamed of when we were six or seven years old. On average, Canadians switch careers approximately three times in their lives and four times for the Generation Y’s.
Kit Watson, CEO and director of Rockitgirl Group, says she’s already on career number three at just 30 years old. The BC native went from heavy-duty truck mechanic to call-centre associate to booking-agent-slash-social-media-guru in the music industry where she finds herself today. Although Watson’s career switches may seem rather extreme, she’s become a recognizable figure in the Vancouver music scene. “People say ‘you’re an expert’ and I think that’s a silly term because one can’t be an expert in something that’s been around for only a few years,” she says. “I’m well thought of in the industry which is incredibly complimentary with how little time I’ve been in it.”
Following an experience in her first career when Watson says she “nearly blew herself up” while welding a double tanker that was unknowingly filled with explosive chemicals, she decided to put her diesel mechanic days to rest when she was in her mid-20s. “I left the industry and, at that point, I just got some call centre work to kind of pay the bills for a little bit,” she says. “I worked for eBay for almost a year and at the same time I was starting my business, researching social media and putting those techniques into play with the artists I was working with.”
Eventually the eBay office in Vancouver closed up shop, which couldn’t come at a more perfect time for Watson to start her career in the music industry at 27. She attributes her career-hopping to her curiosity. “I think that you change so much; like, how can you possibly pick one career? Your desire is constantly morphing and your job should feed your soul, and shouldn’t be feeding your job’s soul.”
Trepany Falvo, storeowner of Pert Lingerie in Toronto’s East End, is on career number two at 25 years old. Her career switch wasn’t nearly as extreme as Watson’s, but the job description of retail management and store owning isn’t as similar as it seems. “As the owner you kind of wear all the different hats,” she says. “You’re the one who’s doing everything from cleaning, organizing, buying, merchandising, selling, plus you have all of the back-end stuff like emails, managing the inventory, and the financial side of things.” In addition to that, marketing and branding aspects are also Falvo’s responsibility. “As the owner, it’s kind of an overwhelming responsibility because you don’t have team members that could help you do that kind of stuff.” Falvo always dreamed of owning her own store, and says her past career in retail management helped her with the transition.
More and more young people today have been switching careers and Falvo says networking is one of the contributing factors as to why this is happening with the under-30s. “I think a lot of relationships are defined by personal connections we make with people we meet socially. I think that you never know who you’re going to meet or whose path you’re going to cross, and when you meet people that can often lead to new contacts.” She offers this advice to the young soul-searchers: “Being young, this is now the time to go explore those different avenues you may be interested in… If you have a dream job to pursue, do it while you’re young and while you have the energy and time to put behind it.”
Business News with BITE.