In previous generations, when a school-leaver started a particular job in a particular industry, that was it.
They would rarely change jobs and would almost certainly never leave their industry.
If they started their career as a carpenter, they were a carpenter for life.
If they started their career as a teacher, farmer, lawyer or factory worker, the same rules applied.
However, that landscape has changed dramatically.
In the world that we are living in, jobs are much less secure and people are generally much more adaptable, meaning that the number of roles that individuals hold throughout their career has increased and these roles could be across multiple industries.
15 years ago, employers were suspicious of anyone who had too many jobs on their resume. If they didn’t stay somewhere for more than 10 years, they were considered “flighty.” Loyalty and stability were prized values.
But that’s changed as well. If someone has been working in the same role for more than 10 years, it’s almost viewed with suspicion.
“Really? They weren’t able to develop their skills to advance their careers for a whole decade?”
Smart employers aren’t looking for someone to sit in a role for the next ten years because they understand that the job may not exist that timeframe and that the best candidates are those who will give their all for a couple of years, learn and develop before moving on to the next position, preferably with the same organisation. Smart employers don’t want someone who is going to clog up a desk for years, unable to adapt to changing ways of doing business.
Smart employees and job-seekers aren’t looking for a job to last them the next ten years either. They understand that they are at their best when they treat their next role as a stepping stone, not as quicksand. They are constantly on the look-out for opportunities to learn and have mentors who assist them with their progress. They keep up to date with the latest technological advances and with the latest industry trends.
Most importantly, having an understanding that every job is temporary means that if you are made redundant or lose your job, you will have a more resourceful and resilient mindset that will help you to bounce back quicker.
If every job truly is temporary, then it’s inevitable that at some stage you will find yourself looking for work. It’s not personal, it’s reality. And all that you’ve learned in that role, however badly it ended, you can use to find the next stepping stone in your career.
Of course, for every idea, there will be exceptions. There will be some people arguing that their situation is different and their job is not temporary. This probably means that you are either in a dead-end job, wasting the 100,000 hours that you have for your career, or that you are very fortunate to have a dream job that is unlikely to change much (although I’m sure that even if the title doesn’t change, how you’re operating is sure to).
For the rest of us, treat your current job as a temporary assignment.
Such a mindset will encourage you to continue to develop your career and help cushion the blow if something dramatic happens to your job.
What are you currently doing to prepare yourself for your next role?
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