We’ve all seen the articles extolling the virtues of “re-careering”
Regardless of age, many people are changing careers. It is estimated that today’s workers will probably change their career four times in their lifetime. This does not mean changing jobs or employers, it means changing careers!
Some people are changing careers out of necessity as work is outsourced, automated, or compressed, while others are changing careers out of preference. The “in” phrase is “Re-Careering.”
Age is no longer an obstacle to doing whatever, within reason, you want to do. The only reasonable limitation lies within your self concept: afraid to fail, afraid to succeed, afraid what others will think.
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Now I’m starting to see reports on “nesting.”
(Reuters) – Many workers around the world have given up hopes of advancing in their jobs, but the bad economy is keeping them from finding new ones.
Such “walking wounded” workers are increasingly exchanging ambition for job stability, which now even trumps pay as a consideration, according to a biennial survey by the human resources consultancy Towers Watson Co.
People are becoming “nesters,” who prefer to stay in one career or with one employer for their entire career.
The report highlights a disconnect between what such “nesters” want and the growing trends that are shaping the global workforce: an increasing emphasis on flexible staff and short-term employment, more offshoring and part-time work.
“People are increasingly wanting things that are harder to get,” said Max Caldwell, a leader of Towers Watson’s talent and reward business. “They’d like to settle into one or two companies for life. What people want is security, stability and a long-term employment relationship, (which are) increasingly out of reach.”
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“Re-careering” was all about making a virtue our of a necessity. When life gives you lemons!
“Nesting” is about nostalgia and learned helplessness.
The point here is that we are participants in a system which has had the “loyalty” surgically removed from both employers and employees. We might pine for a world where loyalty matters but that world no longer exists.
The atomization of society creates both mobility and opportunity– and I have benefitted personally from both of those trends– even as it undermines safety and security. This reality creates unique difficulties for older people because they are especially reliant on long-standing promises and relationships.
Sometimes, when I am worrying about my own livelihood, I reflect on the irony that we have made for ourselves a world of material splendor which springs from an epidemic of unease, fear and anxiety.