To Stream the Impossible Stream

The differences between boomers and millenials are subtle when it comes to television and music.

 

"When it comes to music,
boomers and millennials appear
to share a common bond"

 

Most people would agree that baby boomers are from Venus, and millennials are from...Pluto. In other words, there’s a vast distance of time and space between the two.

 
At the same time, a visitor from either of these two planets* might, at first glance, notice a number of similarities between these two groups of earthlings. Of course, zooming in on the similarities reveals differences that are glaring—even to a space alien. Just look closely. When boomers and millennials appear to be doing the same thing, they’re really not. Take something as common as listening to music, or watching TV.

 
When it comes to music, boomers and millennials appear to share a common bond. They’re all listening to music from their smartphones or iPads, whether in the car or at home or out jogging. It hardly invites controversy to claim that there is no better music source. You have thousands of songs available to you on a small device. And how great is it to be able to search and find just what you want merely by entering a word or two and tapping on the screen.

 

"When boomers and millennials
appear to be doing the same thing,
they’re really not."

 
After all, hardly anyone has fond memories of rummaging through their record collection, hunting for a specific album, and placing it on the turntable. And even fewer are nostalgic about moving the needle across an LP—inadvertently embedding a permanent scratch—to listen to a specific song. (LP stands for Long Playing. It refers to a record album containing many songs. Hence the Long Playing moniker. That’s compared to a 45 with only one song per side. Oh yeah, these records would be played on two sides, but needed to be turned over. From this alone, it should be quite apparent that boomers have had it rough. So cut them some slack. Full disclosure: I’m a boomer, and the memories of turning over the records, piled high on the turntable, still haunt me.)

 
So boomers and millennials appear to be in complete agreement here.

 

Not so fast.

 
More than likely, the boomer has gone to the trouble of copying his entire collection of MP3s from his computer to his smartphone and tablet. These MP3s served him well in years past when they would be burned onto CDs, and played time and again in the car. And now they’re enjoying a second act, part of a huge collection stored on a state­of­the­art gadget. How cool and efficient is that! It’s not often you can reuse something in a better way than originally intended. At long last, perfection has been achieved!

 
But a millennial would view this type of a setup as sheer lunacy. When the millennial thumbs his song choice into the iPhone, the song that emerges over the Bluetooth speaker is one selected from an unlimited collection.

 
Yes, unlimited. Without having to laboriously copy files and hog precious gigabytes of memory, millennials can listen to every song they ever owned, and the thousands more they never owned, or even pirated. That’s because they’re streaming their music, accessing various services such as Spotify and Pandora. For millennials and their music, all you have to do is stream, stream, stream. Anything else, is like using a transistor radio. Positively prehistoric.
 
It’s the same with TV.

 

Walk into a room, and to the untrained alien’s one large eye, both groups seem to be engaged in the same activity: watching Seinfeld on a giant flat screen TV.
 

"As with their music, millennials
embraced streaming for their
TV viewing. They believe streaming
episodes on Hulu and Netflix is
nothing less than a godsend."

 

However, on closer inspection, you’ll notice that at the boomer’s residence, the DVR is churning out previously recorded TBS episodes. But there is no DVR to be found in a millennial living room. Following sage advice, millennials beat their DVRs into plowshares. As with their music, millennials embraced streaming for their TV viewing. They believe streaming episodes on Hulu and Netflix is nothing less than a godsend.

 
Boomers, on the other hand, are proud of the 842 channels available to them on cable, and profess their DVR prowess that enables them to record any of the programs from any of the channels. Compiling these recordings allows them to watch what they want, when they want. And to skip through the commercials. What’s wrong with that?

 
Millennials scoff at this, as they locate an app to watch any and all episodes of a particular show, from the pilot to the series finale. And with no commercials at all. So if they’re inclined to watch Seinfeld have it out with the soup Nazi, no problem. It’s right there. Try doing that with the 842 channels and a DVR.

 
As always, boomers and millennials will agree to disagree. However, there’s something to be said for people seemingly doing the same thing even if they’re not. It gives the perception of unity and solidarity.

 
Seeing the camaraderie between these disparate groups should give space aliens pause to any notions they might have of invading the planet. So both boomers and millennials can feel good about their contributions towards interplanetary peace.

 
Of course, if the alien visitors ever discover the rift that exists between boomers and millennials over the benefits of streaming Taylor Swift versus downloading her music, then all bets are off.

 
And May the Force Be with Us.

 

(*Concerning Pluto being a planet, there might be considerable common ground between boomers and millennials on this, especially among millennials who were done with grade school by 2006 or so. That was when Pluto was offed. Just like that, Pluto stopped being a planet. Kids began learning about a solar system sans Pluto.)

 

Steve Lipman is a Pulitzer Prize-worthy writer residing in Los Angeles. He chooses to write on anything that interests him, always keeping his style lighthearted.

 

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Want to love Mondays? It’s possible when you love what you do. Paradigm is a San Diego staffing agency dedicated to finding  the perfect job for candidates like you. We’re connected with some of the most innovative tech companies around, giving our employees that competitive edge needed in today’s job market. We hope to hear from you today, and let's make your career goals happen. 

 

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Why the Work Gaps? Top Five Rules to Explain

Read Paradigm's rules for explaining gaps in work history.

 

Gaps in employment are not unusual. However, it’s how you approach the topic in your next interview that makes them more or less acceptable. Here are our five top tips for explaining gaps in work history.

 

1. Be upfront and honest
Employers are pretty understanding of breaks in employment—especially if there’s a good reason for it. Don’t try to conceal any gaps, or get flustered when asked about them. Just be as open and honest as possible.

 

2. But not too honest
If you were fired or let go from your previous employer, give a reason with a positive spin. Although it didn’t work out for you in your last position, what did you learn? What makes you still a good candidate for rehire? A simple explanation could be: "the company was downsizing, and my position was eliminated," if you don’t want to go too in-depth.

  

3. Be tactful
If you left your last position because the working conditions were terrible, remember not to bash your previous employer or boss. Seize this opportunity to show your professionalism—simply explain that it wasn’t a good fit, and you made the choice to move on. Be tactful, and give a reason or two why it wasn’t a good fit—you were looking for more growth opportunities, or more challenges, for example.

 

4. Focus on what you did do
Show potential employers that you took time off from the nine-to-five grind to be productive in other ways. Volunteer, take some classes, or travel abroad—do something that makes you a well-rounded employee when you’re ready to work again. You can also include these achievements on your resume, and expand on them in-person.

 

5. Focus on what you learned
Develop skills that will translate to your next position. It’s important to remember that you can learn a lot outside of the conventional working world. If you took time off to care for your family or to travel, you undoubtedly learned a whole host of new skills that you can’t necessarily get from sitting behind a desk. Discuss these skills when explaining time off—for example: organizational skills or how to handle high-pressure situations.

 

Everyone gets a little nervous going into an interview, especially when rejoining the workforce after a short (or long) hiatus. The key is to be confident in your abilities. With these few tips on explaining those pesky work gaps, you’ll bag a new job in no time.
 

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Want to love Mondays? It’s possible when you love what you do. Paradigm is a San Diego staffing agency dedicated to finding  the perfect job for candidates like you. We’re connected with some of the most innovative tech companies around, giving our employees that competitive edge needed in today’s job market. We hope to hear from you today, and let's make your career goals happen. 

 

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Nine Signs It's Not a Good Job Fit

Feeling noticeably unhappy at work? Here are nine signs it's time to move on.

 

Do you ever get the feeling something just isn’t quite right at your job? For some reason, you just aren’t completely fulfilled, happy, or as excited as you once were to go to work. Are you in a rut? Do you just need a vacation? Or is it something more? Here are nine signs the job is not the right fit for you.

 

It’s Going Nowhere
If you’ve been stuck in the same position for way too long, with no hope of moving up or gaining more responsibilities, you may be in the wrong job. You once had hopes and dreams for your future! Remember those? If you have any sort of career plan, and it’s crystal clear that this position is not aligning with that plan, it’s not the right fit.

 

Your Boss Bugs
Bosses are hard-wired to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up—it’s basically part of their job description. All kidding aside, if your boss is absolutely unbearable, it’s definitely not the right job for you. Does he or she micromanage your every move? Does he or she belittle your skills and come off condescending? Maybe he or she has a knack for putting you down, or criticizing your work in the most tactless of ways. There are bad bosses, and then there are extraordinarily bad bosses. If you can’t handle it, it’s not right.
 
You’re Bored
It’s not a myth that you can wake up and actually feel motivated to go to work. If you find that you’re bored, pretty much all the time, this job isn’t the one. You should feel somewhat enthusiastic when you get a new assignment, eager to do well and show what you’re made of. If you, instead, get an assignment and decide to go online, zone out, and then stare at the clock for a few hours first, this job isn’t the one that’s lighting that fire inside you.

 

Zero Recognition
They seem to think there is a magical fairy doing all this work late at night, afterhours. Well, that magical fairy is you—and your colleagues, your boss, and the mega higher ups have failed to recognize all that you do. If you receive almost no credit for your hard work, or you haven’t gotten a raise or promotion in years, it’s definitely not the right workplace for you.

 

You’ve Used All Your Sick Time (and then some)
We certainly all need a sick day from time to time…cough, cough. But if you find that you are calling in "sick" at least once a week, the job has got to go. Taking the steps to be in the office as little as possible may mean that you’re just not happy, and your heart just isn’t in it. This isn’t the right job for you. Time to look for something else, before your coworkers worry you might be dying.

 

Conflicting Culture
Are you the outdoorsy or creative type stuck in an office with stark white walls and no natural light? Are you expected to stay at work well past five o’clock, even though your work is finished? Are you an introvert tapped out on birthday lunches and social events? Or perhaps you’re the outgoing type, surrounded by a bunch of straight-faced stiffs who never speak. There’s not necessarily a right or wrong way to be here, but your personal style does have to match up with the company culture to some degree.

 

No One Else is Happy
Have you ever started a new job with a hopeful, positive attitude, only for it to be crushed midday when you realize literally no one else is happy there? This is a big red flag, and one to watch for even when you’re in the interview stages. If coworkers seem disgruntled, openly complain, and generally have a negative disposition, this is probably not going to work out well for you, either.

 

Vague Responsibilities
Are they asking you to do random stuff around the office that has nothing to do with your job description? Are you spending time trying to find work to do? Are you not really clear on what your responsibilities are, or why they even hired you? Do they have no plan in place for your position? These are all red flags. You can be proactive and use your skills and experience to establish your role. However, if the management doesn’t know what they’re doing, this job is probably not going to last.

 

You Can’t Seem to Get it Right
Do you feel like everything you do just doesn’t measure up? It’s not that you’re bad at your job, but perhaps the management has unrealistic expectations of you, or isn’t giving you clear direction. Or, do you tend to finish your work super quickly and then twiddle your thumbs looking for more to do? Perhaps you are over qualified for the job, or it just isn’t challenging enough for you. In any of these instances, it’s probably not a good fit.

 

The best thing you can do for your career, is make sure to get a good understanding of the job before you accept an offer—it’s good practice to interview the interviewer to find out as much as you can. If you start a job, and realize it’s not the right fit for you, it’s OK to start looking for something else. No job is perfect—but you should be relatively happy (most of the time).

 

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Want to love Mondays? It’s possible when you love what you do. Paradigm is a San Diego staffing agency dedicated to finding  the perfect job for candidates like you. We’re connected with some of the most innovative tech companies around, giving our employees that competitive edge needed in today’s job market. We hope to hear from you today, and let's make your career goals happen. 

 

Get social—follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter for career tips and updates.
 

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