This start-up spirit is an attitude unique to Generation Y, he says, in part due to the flagging economy. He points to the numerous nonprofits started by young entrepreneurs. While they may have been eager to carve out unique and meaningful careers, they also have learned that college diplomas and internships don't translate into job security the way they once did.
"You can't rely on anything or anyone. You have to be accountable for your own career," says Schawbel.
Danielle Kurtzleben is a business and economics reporter for U.S. News & World Report. Connect with her on Twitter at @titonka or via E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.