Do you ever find yourself scrolling through job sites, aiming to find the perfect role? The one that will get you to that place in your life where you can finally say ‘I made it’. Despite holding these expectations, it is rare today to find someone who would say that they envision themselves in a job ‘for life’ – even if that role is ideal for them. Statistics even show one in three workers only remain in a role for two years or less.
So why are today’s earners so quick to change roles at the drop of a hat? And why is this concept of a ‘job for life’ as daunting as it is unlikely?
A lot of this doubt appears to stem from shifts in societal pressures. Today our rapidly rising house prices and inflated economy has meant that a larger income of money is required to get by. While prices have risen, job salaries have stayed vastly stagnant and a single person may have to work twice as hard to be able to make a living by themselves in a major UK city. Be it office jobs, or skilled professions the roles we have now do not grow over time as we do. While our parents could stay in one role due to accessibility, familiarity and often a clear route to progression the road to successful living isn’t presently as straight forward.
Perhaps nowadays we have lost the urgency to claim any job as our own as what we have is simply not enough. Unlike our parents at the touch of a button, we can see the endless future possibilities available to us where they never could.
But is this necessarily a good thing?
Our social media culture cannot help but project us into a vision of the perfect role to compete with a lifestyle fed by consumer culture. The first job we get may not reflect the glamour we one day feel we will embody; so, why have a job for life when we could gather so many exciting experiences? We want faster, quicker, now with the ability to dispose of once used – so why not be the same with jobs. Houses are hard to buy. We are taking longer to settle down (as the property ladder won’t allow it).
In many ways a job for life could mean the end of our motivation for more – perhaps once we settle in work we have nothing left to strive for.
While a job for life feels out of date and stale, a career for life fuels more ambition. In the UK workplace by 2020 more than a third will be over 50 and by the time we reach this age these numbers will have flourished. With technology at the forefront of future employment allying yourself within a field more than a role could make your job more stable while the digital future invades. Taking courses and becoming more familiar with technology will not only
give you a professional edge, but it may also just save you from becoming left behind in the workplace:
why not keep yourself fuelled by the future instead of tying yourself to a role that may become obsolete because of it.
So, while the role you have now may never be your ‘job for life’ at least you can look forward to the prospect of countless jobs where you can make memories and experience with you onwards.
Who knows, one day maybe you will find a job that ticks every box. Just don’t let the robots get there first.
Article written by Lauren Benali & graphics by Issy Howell