Are We Abandoning the Idea of Just One Career?

Source: Pexels/Ketut Subiyanto

Many of us have parents or grandparents who have worked for one company for decades. A longstanding relationship with one employer was a two-way street. The employees were incredibly loyal, not only working for the company, but also buying the product. Employers provided pensions, medical care, and vacations. By the 1990s, most of those tenure relationships had ended.

By the time Generation X entered society, the idea of ​​sticking to one company for 30 or 40 years had faded. But the idea of ​​his one career, learning a particular skill or focusing his tenure in one industry remained commonplace. Some may work in multiple organizations throughout their lives, but they are more likely to stay in the same field.

A “stage of career growth” is an idea based on the concept of acquiring a skill set for several years and then leveraging that experience for the next few decades. Over time you’ll see more rewards and better opportunities, but mostly by “staying in your lane”.

Perhaps it’s time for people to reconsider whether to stay in one career for the rest of their lives.

The idea that people stay in one industry and continue to build and grow their careers based on the same skill set is changing. We now see people reinventing themselves, starting out as a lawyer and becoming a baker, or leaving a career in special education to become a podcaster. It was more than just moving to a new location to get a job at People are reconsidering whether their current field or specialty still fits their needs. The conventional argument is that advancing through career stages means that by age 45, new opportunities will be scarce and you will instead focus on mentoring others. But especially since the pandemic, people seem to be less intimidated by the seeming lack of opportunities to enter new fields in the middle or later stages of their careers.

online opportunity.

The shift from the one-employer model to the multi-employer model in the 1990s was driven by increased mobility, a highly educated Generation X who valued work-life balance, and more women entering the workforce. It was part of the backlash against that. People were less motivated by the stability of a single employer that could provide a worker (usually a man) with enough income to support a family without leaving their current location. Instead, people wanted to find the best opportunities to meet their financial and emotional needs, and were willing to migrate many times to reach those goals. are choosing new careers in part because of another big change. Through the Internet, more education has become available. Access to information, whether it’s formal online courses, YouTube or TikTok videos, means you can pick up just about any new skill set with a device and the right Wi-Fi. In addition, the Internet has facilitated access to supplies and equipment, allowing sole proprietors and start-ups to enter the market on a limited budget. Our cultural and social norms are also changing, making the idea of ​​moving from one field to another much more acceptable.

The pandemic has changed the meaning of “risk”.

Another reality of the last few years is that the pandemic has reprioritized people’s needs. For some, waning risk aversion and fear of missing out on trying new things have motivated them to seek other opportunities. People left in droves in a service industry that was dangerous. It was low. Why not pursue your passion or monetize your hobby? People who have lost their jobs or been put on furlough suddenly find that they have time to go home and pursue other interests, and they have been missed the opportunity to return even after careers became available.

No matter your age, you can educate yourself online. Access to such information brings power.

Many continue to progress through the traditional stages of their career path, focusing on how to do better (and get better rewards) as they spend more years in one field. However, it is possible that a significant portion of the population has seen permanent changes. As of November 2022, he had nearly 9% job openings in the hospitality and food sector. People may end up in those positions, but continued calls for higher minimum wages, better workplace safety, and other improvements will be needed to get workers back. Also, not everyone left their previous jobs because they felt unsafe or underpaid. Some people just decide to pursue something that brings more meaning to their lives. The access provided by technology has removed logistical and financial obstacles, but the pandemic has created more existential and emotional motivations. It may not be what we do, but how it makes us feel.

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