It's funny that I stumbled on this article while reading another technology-related piece on Fast Company's Web site because you have touched on many ideas I've been thinking about over the past couple of months. Moreover, you have summed up what I have observed in my working life thus far. I liked seeing it in written form.
I'm 25 but have been working in office environments since I was 12. Professionally, I've worked for two major corporations, and now I'm back in the journalism field. While deadlines and work are still abounding, the hours are flexible and the environment is creative. I quickly saw what the women executives at those two corporations gave up day in and day out. A few of those executives told me I needed to start taking my career more seriously, putting in more hours and being on call if I wanted to move ahead from my copy/technical writing jobs.
But I thought, "No way!" That's not what I wanted. My generation is seeing this early on and fleeing from it. Unfortunately, many of us are being labeled as lazy and having no work ethic. (And that's a whole other topic to discuss.) For the most part, my young work colleagues are ambitious and energetic. We want to work, but also want to learn, travel and connect with others, have meaningful relationships, etc.
Anyway, I'm glad this topic is being discussed. It will be interesting to watch this work trend evolve, and what effect it will have on future generations... both men and women.
Jennifer L. Schestok
ADVANCE for Audiologists
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A version of this article appeared in the February 2004 issue of Fast Company magazine.