Friday, 12 September 2008

One career, One conversation

According to new statistics from the US Department of Labor, individuals born between 1957 and 1964 held an average of 10.8 jobs from ages 18 to 42. Similar studies have revealed that the average US worker experiences 3 to 5 trade/professional changes over the lifetime of their career.

This report and statistics like the above are a fantastic insight into the nature of careers, job searching, recruitment, redundancy and a host of other aspects that influence individual success but for me the most interesting question it provides insight into is: How should we prepare for the life of our career?

In the 3 to 5 direction changes and 10.8 jobs, the average worker will interview, meet recruiters, work alongside new colleagues, experience new bosses and work with a variety of customers and clients. Jobs, surroundings, locations, pay and satisfaction are all variables but one remaining constant is the individual's relationship with work. This in turn suggests a dialogue focusing on our relationship with work, adaptable to the changing nature of our careers, as the best preparation for any individual.

A long-term dialogue based on the pursuit of personal success, founded on rigourously tested values, talents and goals, prepares for the changes all individual careers will encounter. Not only does this understanding allow different jobs and direction changes to be dealt with, it also goes further to ensure that changes are made in a direction that delivers improvement to the individual with every step.

Of course, not every change will be a promotion (change for example, could mean redundancy) but each change can be experienced, even managed, with the application of past learning in present decision making. In addition, guidelines from the fundamental elements that continue to shape our relationship with work (e.g. values, talents and goals) provide insight into a preferred direction going forward.

Studies like the above create opportunities for those of us in work today (and those beginning their careers) to learn from the practical experiences of others. Opportunities that can positively influence individual relationships with work and personal success.

I am currently researching similar statistics for the UK and other nations. If you know of any relevant, recently released studies outside of the US your input would be most welcome. If you have any comments or emails regarding the above, please send them along or post them here. Enjoy the weekend ahead, With Thanks, Paul 

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