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Parents support pursuit of dreams

By ZHOU WENTING/JIN TIANTIAN | China Daily | Updated: 2018-08-29 08:02
Young people seek employment opportunities at a job fair in Chongqing that attracted companies from the technology, internet and finance sectors, among others. ZHOU YI/CHINA NEWS SERVICE

Many parents of recent graduates support their search for the ideal job, saying there is now more scope for trial and error and that allows young people to pursue their dreams.

Huang Qiaoling, 50, said that when she was young, people also dreamed of trying different jobs in order to find the one that suited them best, but the concept of work back then was that everybody stuck to what they did and job-hopping was a rarity.

"For the current young generation, we hope they can live a happier and more purposeful life, given their families have poured resources into their education since childhood," said Huang, from Changsha, Hunan province, whose son was born in 1992.

"Moreover, the stronger financial support from parents gives the young generation nowadays the privilege of not just making a living but finding their real interests."

Huang's son Xia Yuxuan graduated from the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei, Anhui province, in 2014 with a bachelor's degree in geophysics, and took three jobs in Beijing: one at a State-owned enterprise, one at a technology firm at Zhongguancun Science Park, and the other at a startup producing smartphone applications. After two years, he opted to go to the United States to study quantitative financial engineering.

"We are delighted and proud that he left each job position with a complete piece of work," Huang said. "Through such a process, he was able to become clearer about what he really wanted and approach his goal."

Ke Da, whose daughter was born in Shanghai in 1991, said young people are also more likely to job-hop frequently because there is a wider variety of enticing employment opportunities.

"Government departments and State-owned enterprises, which were undoubtedly the first option for job seekers of our generation, are no longer the best options for some people today," he said. "Foreign companies and private startups are chased by some young job seekers for various reasons."

Ke, in his mid-50s, works as a research and development technician in a company that produces communications equipment. He said some colleagues born since 1990 had left for other jobs after just half a year or even as little as three months.

"The situation is related to the economic environment," he said. "In the computer science industry, with its current, heated investment climate, it is common for young people to chase highly-paid jobs."

Ke said his daughter has worked as a journalist for one employer for five years.

"Actually I'm supportive if my child wants to change her job one day as long as she has enthusiasm for it and the job has social value," he said.
Ke said he also reminds her to keep learning, so she can adjust to changes in the new era.

"The world is changing so rapidly and we have no idea where it is going," he said. "We don't want our child to eventually become a restless job-hopper if she cannot survive in the competitive job market."

Some college teachers say some graduates job-hop due to a lack of perseverance and patience, which is a concern for their parents, but generally speaking, frequent job-hopping by the young is a declaration of their values: They would rather choose a path of self-realization than do what others view as appropriate.

Yan Yining, deputy dean of the School of Journalism and Communication at Shanghai International Studies University, said the way students performed in class and school activities showed they were more focused on personal choices.

"Students, from the beginning of the junior year, have diversified plans and schedules for their selective courses, internships and preparations for employment or further studies, which is very different from what we used to do as students, which was following the unified arrangements of the school," said Yan, who began working as a university teacher in 1998.

She said showing respect to young people's personal choices is a form of social progress.

"Whatever decision they make for themselves, I believe it'll be a good one if they make it with responsibility and think it is in line with their long-term goal," she said.

Jin Tiantian contributed to this story.

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