A Work World in Flux

The white-collar workplace has changed a lot over the last two years.  Remote work has gone from a quirky perk to a common experience.  Workers all the way up to the C-Suite have assessed what they want from a job.  And expectations for when and where work must be done has evolved.  As executives scramble to merge remnants of the “before times” with pandemic-propelled work shifts, graduating college seniors are preparing to enter the work force for the first time.  The new normal will be their first normal.

With nearly every aspect of their college experience upended, this year’s graduates are more accustomed than most to living alongside uncertainty.  The roughly two million people who will earn a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. College or university this year pursued academic and professional ambitions amid campus closures, online classes and remote internships.  For better or worse, they are entering the new work landscape without the memory of pre-pandemic life to guide or sway their choices.

DealBook spoke to 10 seniors who are graduating from universities across the U. S. about how they envision the trajectory of their careers -where they’ll work, how they’ll work and what factors might influence their choices.  Their goals, interests and outlooks vary, but nearly all anticipate careers that are less linear and more dynamic than those of generations prior.

And they’re ready for it. “I don’t care too much about change.  It happens”, said Austin Rosas, 23, a Texas A&M University economics major with a minor in mathematics.  “Adaptation is what matters.”

A National Association of Colleges new graduates survey provided this sampling:

♦”In addition to values, the impact that an organization has will make or break my decision to begin and remain working in a particular place”, Citlali Blanco, 22, human biology major, Stanford.

♦”I hope my future workplace is an environment that is collaborative, inclusive and values their employees.  I want a workplace where I feel safe and comfortable to share my voice, as well as a place where I will be able to continue to grown in the field I want to succeed in”, Rebecca Hart, 22, public relations major at American University.

Courtesy of NY Times article by Corinne Purtill in the DealBook 


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