How the nature of a career has changed in the past decade

The concept of a career has changed drastically over the past decade, with the notion of staying at one company throughout the majority of your working life, a foreign idea at the moment.

The common notion of a career nowadays is to have people move from company to company in hopes of advancing their career and getting job stability.

Shaun Clarke, brand manager of Careers24 looks at how we are no longer tied to one job, but have the option of moving from companies in order to gain greater stability and progress in one’s career.

The last decade

The generation before us used to work for one company until they retired. This journey would start out at a junior level and advance to intermediate positions within the same company, with a focus on building lifelong relationships and stability.

Nowadays we look for career advancement from different organisations, with the  sense of loyalty for one specific company slowly eroding away. If one organisation doesn’t grow you as an individual and help further your career, you move on to greener pastures.

“In the previous generations, many people worked for the same company their whole lives, a lot of them would have started out a junior level, steadily climbing the ladder over the decades, the lucky ones ending up at an executive level. Along the way would have had job security,  built lifelong relationships and enjoyed a sense of fulfilment at being recognised for good work with a promotion every so often,” notes Clarke.

Connecting to the world

In the recent decade we have seen how technology has connected the world, making it easier to communicate and to get by. Companies have made great changes in incorporating technology into their businesses. This has grown the economic trade across the borders.

“Below the surface, a postmodern worldview had been percolating, one of a world not as divided but connected, mostly through sub-cultures forming nodes of association that had no geographic boundaries,” says Clarke.

Change is constant

Recently we have many alternatives in finding suitable employment at a suitable organisation. Over the past generation having one job for life was not much of an option, that is how employment look and your success depended on how well you were doing within the set organisation.

In this generation you are able to hop from one job to another, without staying with one employer. We also have the option of choosing how to work, we can now work from home or with different organisations at once.

“Now, besides the option to change jobs fairly frequently, the rise of the gig economy is empowering contractors to pick and choose where and even when to work. Today with so many options available, remote work, freelance work, job transference and part-time employment we almost need to unlearn what it means to be employed,” adds Clarke.

Career progression

Over the last decade careers have changed dramatically, job satisfaction does not only depend on having one job and growing within it, now organisations need to satisfy their employees to be able to keep them for longer.

Our generation has moved on from waiting on the employer to promote them, to going out and looking for career advancement independently. Technology also plays a huge role on how to apply for jobs as there are a lot of online recruitment companies which look to hire for companies.

“What success looks like today is making yourself future fit. It means embracing life long learning to remain relevant in the marketplace and accepting that change is going to be constant,” concludes Clarke.


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