It used to be a fair assumption that finding a decent, full-time job was the path to a long and stable career. But those days are over. The employment market has changed drastically and as a result traditional career assumptions, and the idea of career stability, have to change in turn.
Agreements between employers and employees that guarantee a life-long career in exchange for loyalty and commitment, are now few and far between.
Here’s a snapshot of the new world of work:
- Many younger people – even the most highly educated – are finding it impossible to secure a relevant job.
- Most people in the workforce can expect to change jobs every two or three years.
- The average length of a career is already averaging 48 years, and by 2020 it will be over 50 years.
- By 2020, it’s expected that up to 50% of of all income-producing work will be short-term contract and temporary work.
These trends suggest that in the near future, the average person would have held 20 to 25 jobs over the course of their career. It would seem that the new ticket to a long and stable career is to change jobs regularly.
Here are five ways to use those regular job changes to create stability throughout your career:
1. Discover the work you love.
In Steve Jobs’ 2005 commencement speech to Stanford’s graduating class, he shared this life lesson – “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
At the beginning of your professional career, the only way to discover the work you love is to get out there and try out a bunch of different options. Volunteer, apply for internships, and seek out temporary assignments in industries that interst you the most.
2. Build an adaptable set of skills
Changing jobs frequently allows you to build up an adaptable set of skills, which is really the key to being able to find new opportunities whenever you need to.
Your focus should not be on having a ‘job’. Your focus should be on finding jobs, projects or contracts that are a relevant match for your specific set of skills, but also enable you to learn new skills, gain new expertise, develop new capabilities and grow your professional network.
3. Invest in personal training and development.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a recent graduate, an established professional, or if you’re reinventing yourself mid-way through your career; it is up to you to take responsibility for your own training and development, as well as keep your knowledge up-to-date.
Make sure you’re active on LinkedIn and social media, and that you regularly read blogs and websites relevant to your industry. Searching for local networking events and online forums, where you can network and share your experiences, should also become a part of your ongoing professional training and development program.
4. Make the most of down-time.
When you are used to changing jobs on a semi-regular basis, you’ll find the transition between jobs won’t be nearly as stressful.
You may even like to use the period between jobs changes to learn a new skill to ensure that you stay relevant in the marketplace. Or you may consider a complete change in direction and use any down-time as a way to explore new opportunities.
What other skills do you have that others will pay you to use? What problems can you solve and what value can you bring to individuals or business who have these problems? Use an online platform like Nvoi to find assignments relevant to these skills.
To find out how Nvoi can help you to change the way you work visit www.nvoi.com.au.