The American Job is in Transition

The US workforce is undergoing a major transformation and American businesses are struggling with a revolving door of searching, hiring and training only to have the employee quit a week later. That’s the ones that show up. Half of workers hired never come to work.

Garrison Wynn is a Houston-based corporate consultant and influencer who has been monitoring the creeping changes within the American workforce for the past decade and says a massive, paradigm-shifting change is underway. It’s essentially generational. The 1960’s blue collar factory worker gave way to the next generation of Izod-wearing, goal-oriented corporate zealots who gave birth to a generation that just isn’t finding the notion of working appealing. They’d rather hang out in a coffee shop.

Wynn says the generation who was told life was always fair, that their opinion mattered, that their insight was treasured, got trophies win or lose, and was the object of their helicopter parents’ obsession don’t want the same things that their parents wanted. “No car, no house, not getting married,” Wynn ticks off about today’s younger members of the working class. “They are having babies at a very slow rate. They don’t want luxury items. They don’t believe in things that cost a lot.”

And they definitely don’t want to be stuck in the 9-5, M-F conveyer belt of unsatisfying work they saw dominate the lives of their elders. Corporate America is finding their salvation in women. “Boys are not graduating from high school and boys are not going to college. If you are in your 20’s, in 69% of couples the female is the breadwinner,” says Wynn.

Driving the dissatisfaction, Wynn has found, has been bullying bad management that made work a grind that dads went home and griped to their children about. Now their kids don’t want to follow in their footsteps.

“The solutions include job-sharing,” Wynn has found. Rather than one person working a 60 hour week and getting paid for 40 the job might best become two people working in tandem 20 hours a week each at a livable wage. Youth, Wynn says, doesn’t want the grind, and prefers the flexibility of working less and living more. “We’re going to have to make the job better. A lot of these companies have to face the reality that your job sucks. The job you’re offering isn’t good for them. They’re not interested in that.”

photo: Getty Images

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