The job market and career paths of today are changing quicker than ever before. As of January 2018, the Australian Bureau of Statistics states that 4.2 years is the average length for permanent employees.
My parents had a total of 3 jobs throughout their entire working lives! That’s a huge change in just one generation!
Job tenure is dropping, and the career landscape is remodelling itself to adapt which is where I’ve seen in what we call the ‘gig economy’ boom and people are taking up short term temporary or contract work more than ever.
Previously - climbing the ‘Career Ladder’ meant a linear, step by step process, rising from bottom to top. Instead, today’s career model is more of a ‘Lattice’ structure. You choose to climb your career from wherever you set your sights. This can be a side step, horizontal step, step back to get into a better position. In fact, exploring and mixing up our routes along the journey can help us to avoid feeling stagnant or getting trapped too far down one pathway or profession.
When you ask most people what their first “proper” job was and compare it to their current - there is very little correlation between the two!
What is driving this change?
The introduction of new technologies, increasingly competitive job packages including benefits beyond a simple salary, and an increasing emphasis on customer experience. Access to information is constant and it is endless whilst before it was in limited doses.
Competing for visibility and to stand out is at an all-time high. We are bombarded with advertising day in and day out and when there are so many different offers out there in the marketplace, having a great user experience is the only thing that will keep a customer coming back.
What is consistent in all industries however - is the drive for greater efficiencies that will create heightened productivity. Think about all the new roles out there which have all been created specifically for this function:
Process Improvement Manager
Continuous Improvement Manager
Business Improvement Consultant
Automation and Robotics
When I was stacking bread in a warehouse as a Factory Worker, I remember looking at my Supervisor in his office overseeing the operations, and noticing how much harder I was working than him, yet he was earning twice as much as me.
I was angry… and I remember thinking to myself “this is so unfair…” But I was missing the point. People aren’t paid for the tasks they do. They are paid for the way you “think”.
As soon as you start thinking strategically about how processes and tasks can become more efficient and understand how this will affect the business as a whole - the highest heights of the ‘career lattice’ become a whole lot more accessible.
Why change jobs?
The jobs listed above, along with most roles today have only been created under five years ago! There are new jobs being created constantly!
To keep up - it is important that we learn to adapt and open our minds to new pathways, opportunities, roles and industries we haven’t previously considered.
How quickly we can adapt to change will determine how quickly we can add value to a business, and how quickly we can add value will determine how quickly we scale within it.
Tenure and past experience have no particular influence on your potential. How high up you decide to move within the lattice - is purely within your control.