When I worked in consulting in Florida, from time to time I’d hear the term “#th generation Floridian” used in a sales pitch.
Third generation. Fourth. Fifth. Worn like a badge of honor.
It always puzzled me.
Maybe because I’m the granddaughter of Sicilian immigrants and lived in three states, I’ve never had an allegiance to any particular state. And truthfully, I don’t really understand it.
Does being a deeply-rooted native of any state–Florida, California, Iowa–bestow on you some kind of special ju-ju? What does it really mean?
In my opinion, it means nothing. It’s an accident of fate. Or a decision to not step out of the familiar.
People who mention their long tenture in a state act like it’s a club. But you can look at it another way. If your family dug in to an area for generations, you might be a little…narrow. Insular. Inbred, even.
As opposed to going off and seeking adventures and a life in other parts of the world.
If you’ve lived outside for any length of time, it’s hard not to see long-time Florida families as pretty myopic. To be honest.
My family has rooted in upstate New York. Their perspective is informed by that choice. I chose a different, more diverse path. I bring those experiences, that energy, with me everywhere I go. I have a girlfriend who chose a life in Europe. Her path is even MORE diverse. She carries those experiences with her as well.
Our perspectives both reflect and are informed by our choices.
I like my way better. My husband and I agree that we wouldn’t be able to tolerate life in our small hometown for very long.
Back in my high tech days, recruiters were always looking for candidates who had experience in the particular industry of the job. That seemed appropriate for jobs that required deep technical expertise, such as engineering.
But in my role, corporate communications, the skill set crossed industries. It was the same, no matter where you applied it. Having identical industry experience would shorten the learning curve, but usually not significantly.
It also cut off access to new ideas, a differing perspective, any breath of fresh air that could come from outside experience. It was a small view. A narrow view that made it hard for new thoughts about communications and marketing to break through.
I’m all about taking different paths. Looking at new scenery. Having diverse experiences.
After that, sure, settle somewhere. But I just don’t see the value in calling yourself a #th generation anything.