The inevitability of career change.

Career change is now inevitable.  It used to be that training for a job, could have been a job for life.  This is no longer the case.  The average person in the UK will do 6 different jobs over the course of their lifetime*.  According to the Careers report by the London School of Business and finance 2015, 47% of the UK workforce would like to make a career change and 55% of workers in London say they intend to change careers in the next 2 years.

In the era of artificial intelligence (AI) and social robotics in which we now live, we will be facing one of the most significant changes to work ever seen.  In 2013, the university of Oxford did a thorough review of the top 702 jobs (work currently undertaken by the US workforce) and examined what proportion of jobs can be conducted by technology that exists currently.  The result was 47%, however research by McKinsey further estimates when technology get reach a stage of understanding complex language, this is likely to rise to 65%.

Even without an AI ‘push’ to kick us up the proverbial, our own human drive to learn is strong.   Our curiosity to understand the world around us, to be challenged and engaged and to feel we’ve contributed and passed on what we’ve learned is one of the four key drivers of human behaviour (Lawrence and Nohria 2002).  Even if there was a miracle job out there which was immune to automation, it would not be immune to our drive to learn or our changing values.  What drives us in our 20’s and 30’s is not what drives us as children arrive and parents age.  As we master our work, we seek out new ways to stimulate ourselves.  As we age and our desire to ‘give back’ is one of the more frequently noted trends in career motivations over time.

According to Lynda Gratton in her latest book ‘The 100 year life’, my children have a 50% chance of living to 104.  To sustain such a long period of non working life, retirement ages will have to rise – my children will likely be looking at working into their 80’s in order to pay the price that of a longer life. For some, this idea fills them with dread – for me, this fills me with elation.

Doing work which gives us a sense of fulfilment and meaning is one of the most rewarding experiences there is.  Finding this intersection of changing values, skills, personality and challenge is hard to achieve.  This is largely because the possibility of doing more than one job is still a new reality to us.  It’s not something, we’ve been educated to do or which society prepares us for.  Schools are set up to help us pass exams – not to understand what jobs will best suit our brains and personalities.  Likewise, employers aren’t motivated to guide us towards the jobs of our dreams: their objective is to get the most and best out of us for the benefit of all.  It isn’t our fault we aren’t prepared – and that is why ViewVo exists.  Our aim is to give people the best guidance possible by giving them chances to explore different job and career lifestyles by spending time with experts who know their world inside out and have insights and guidance to share.

We welcome your suggestions, thoughts and ideas and hope you’ll engage and become part of our community and journey.

*Britons in the workplace: the figures that lay bare the life of an average British Employee.  The Telegraph, 2015, Lexi Finnigan.

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