The “Jobs For Life” Myth.

Today, the average CV will have a number of roles listed. In fact it is becoming increasingly rare for someone to remain in the same organisation for more than several years. This is not a bad thing. In fact, it is very good.

Previous generations were enticed into the workplace with the promise of a job for life. Or as long as they performed their duties well. Do very well, and you would get promoted. Or, if you’re content in your role, you would never have to worry about job security. The education system was geared towards this end goal of creating the workforce of tomorrow; employees who would work for the same company for 25 years or more. Back then, long service with the same employer was regarded as a badge of honour.

Things are very different today, but the education system is much the same. The teaching methods and styles may have changed for the better, but schools, colleges and universities are still largely preparing young people for changing job markets and not accounting for the change.

In the legal profession, the military, the police, medicine and education there are structured career paths, and those who work for it hard and smart enough will make their way to the top of the profession, or very near it. Elsewhere, it is a very different story.

People are experiencing more freedom and choice than ever before. The mindset has changed from that of an employee to an entrepreneur. This doesn’t mean that everyone is setting up their own businesses, but that people are taking ownership of their own careers, and taking responsibility for their own development. More time is being spent engaging in personal and professional development activities, and productivity is on the rise. More importantly, people are changing jobs more often in an effort to further their own careers.

What all of this means is that in order to attract and retain the most talented people, organisations must remain competitive. Salaries, benefits and bonuses must be enticing. While the costs may be high to the organisation, it costs an awful more in time and money to replace experienced colleagues. Which is good news for employees, who are being better rewarded for their efforts.

If you’re not happy where you are, leave for the right role. Sometimes a job offer from another firm is enough to convince your boss to offer a pay rise in order to stop you leaving. When you work hard and with integrity, developing a positive reputation, the power is in your hands.

What is worth remembering, is that is that the world of work is more fluid than ever before. You don’t need to have your career path all figured out by the time you leave education. Try internships in different firms to gain experience of, and insights into, your chosen industry. Spend 4 or 5 years trying several careers. Or pick one firm and stay there until something better tickles your fancy. Don’t be afraid to experiment.



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