On the home page of the Bureau of Labor Statistics there’s a headline factoid that says members of the generation immediately after boomers hold 11.7 jobs between ages 18 and 48, with nearly half of those held before age 25.
I wanted to see how accurate that is and I made a list of all the places I’ve worked including assignments for a temp agency and being bought, and it works out to 12 with eight held before age 25. As of this year I will have had three jobs since age 26 with two of those in the last six years. I count being bought as two. But it is still the same job with the same customer, just another company’s name on the paycheck.
So the only thing that is average about my employment history is the number of jobs, with three quarters of them held before 25.
But I wasn’t an average early 20-something. I worked a lot of temp jobs in my early life. Being married and divorced with a toddler by the time I was old enough to drink with not much in the way of education under my belt required working on whatever I could get when I could get it. I worked more than one job at a time on occasion. And so, by the time I finally figured out what I wanted in life I had lots of different transferable skills that I had picked up along the way. Most of it was various aspects of accounting which easily transferred to office tech, and then on to IT where I’ve been for most of my career.
When I got into IT I started out as a desktop technician. That grew into server administration, then core infrastructure engineering; and then onto strategy, standards, and governance. Now, I am back to infrastructure engineering, directory and naming services to be exact. But as side tasks, I get to do core server engineering in the development environment which is the part of my job I like best because there’s stuff to do that requires a mix of Windows, Unix, various flavors of Linux and CIOS. I also got my feet wet in cluster and cloud infrastructure engineering, which is really fun to do in the lab because nobody cares if I break something as long as I fix it. I’ve built some really cool (or at least what I think is cool) stuff.