I will never forget my nephew’s high school graduation (he’s now a medical doctor, if that gives you a clue as to how long ago that was). But while other events from those days are a wee bit foggy, the message from the then-new superintendent of schools really stuck with me.
Today’s graduates, he said, will have an average of seven careers in their lifetimes.
That’s careers, mind you, not jobs.
I remember thinking at the time, “Seven careers? How in the world is that even possible?” Heck, at this stage of my life, I haven’t even had seven jobs, let alone seven careers. But looking back, I’m convinced the man was either a genius or a crackerjack fortune teller.
The point of his statistic was that we all need to be lifelong learners. Just because we get a fancy certificate or two doesn’t mean we should stop learning.
In fact, we can’t stop learning, because if we do, we get left behind. And in a hurry. Let’s think back to the last century, and review some of the major developments that have occurred since my nephew’s high school commencement.
Back in Olden Times, it was not uncommon for people to have one job their whole life. Average length of time on the job then was 20-25 years.
These days, the average time spent on a job is 4.4 years…and in many cases, employers will be lucky to get two years out of people.
What’s caused this massive shift? Technology. Once robotics started replacing human beings on the assembly line back in the early 1970s, things have never been the same.
When I was in college, computers were the size of buildings and only the initiated few were allowed access. But it wasn’t long afterward that personal computers came on the scene — anyone remember the Commodore 64? — followed in rapid succession by mobile phones (1983), digital cameras (1988) and digital cellphones (1991…really!).
In that same year came the biggest game-changer of all — the World Wide Web.
Talk about transformation!
Change is inevitable
Unfortunately, many of us have not changed with the times. Our skill sets atrophied after high school or college and we are intimidated by all the changes that take place around us.
It doesn’t have to be that way. We have many opportunities to help us move to the next level, if we just look at them as such, instead of insurmountable obstacles.
What about you? How many careers do you have under your belt and, more importantly, are you thinking about making a change?
The first thing to do is take stock of where you are today. Ask yourself:
- Do I get satisfaction, enjoyment and a sense of fulfillment from my job?
- Am I passionate about my career?
- What’s happening in my industry today? How it is changing?
- Do I dread going in to work every day?
- Am I sufficiently challenged by what I do?
- Do I live in fear of being fired?
- Do my work colleagues respect me?
- Am I paid well for what I do?
- Does my job allow me to learn new things?
- Do I feel good about myself, doing this work?
- Do I feel successful?
The next step is to look ahead. Ask yourself:
- Where is my industry going in the next five years?
- Am I likely to be promoted or get a nice bump in my paycheck?
- Is there something else I’ve always wanted to do, a dream I put on the back shelf because it was not realistic or it wasn’t the right time?
- What drives me? What makes my heart sing?
- What do I want to do for the rest of my working life?
- What do I need to do to get there?
If any of this resonates with you, you may be a good fit for career coaching. Want to explore it? Give me a call at 305/451-9295 or email email@example.com and let’s chat!