Since the pandemic, many Americans have begun to reevaluate their priorities, leading to a generally lowered sense of career ambition.
- While workers are still ambitious and continue to work hard to achieve their goals, those goals are a little lower now as they focus on the parts of life that matter most to them, Fortune reports.
- Americans are less willing to work for a company that does not align with their values and prefers to focus their efforts on personal goals.
- Workers are reimagining their relationships with their careers, and fewer are investing in the “daily grind” mindset. Many have embraced what author and artist Austin Kleon calls “quiet ambition.”
- For many, this quiet ambition looks like focusing on their families, personal health, and free time.
Why it’s news
Despite many corporations’ best efforts, the world is unlikely to completely return to normal after the pandemic. This shift in mindset is one of the likely results of a generation of people who experienced unprecedented changes in the world. Workers now focusing on family and personal fulfillment spent the pandemic worried that they may not see their families again. After being confronted with losing the things most important to them, many Americans have adopted a new mindset.
The pandemic forced many workers to stop and take a closer look at their lives and where they were headed. For some, their career was not bringing the fulfillment they expected.
Kleon explains that quiet ambition looks like showing up to the studio daily and putting in work—but not pushing himself beyond his limits. “It’s not back-breaking labor, it’s not a herculean task,” he tells Fortune.
For some ambitious individuals, the pandemic pause provided the opportunity to pursue a new, more fulfilling ambition. Cristina Goyanes was a freelance reporter and editor before the pandemic. However, the forced break in her work allowed her to pursue a long-time goal of entrepreneurship.
After co-founding brand editorial agency Revel Digital Collective, Goyanes has been able to take a step back and take a slower approach to life. By focusing on building long-term business relationships, she has been able to step back from the fast-paced, stressful life of her previous work, Fortune reports.
While American’s ambitions may look different than before the pandemic, the change does not mean Americans are refusing to work—their priorities are just placed elsewhere.