Bloomberg Businessweek recently ran an article titled Millennials Are Already Itching to Switch Careers.
The article provides a bit more evidence that career clock speeds are running fast in today’s world of work. This dovetails well with a recent study from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that found even Boomers held an average of almost 12 different jobs before the age of 50. The fact that people are not only holding multiple jobs, but engaging in multiple career paths, should not be surprising. As communications, social media, technology, and many other facets of business are moving faster than ever, so should our careers.
What is a bit different in this Businessweek article is a shift in what drives career change. My predispositions are to think first of drudgery, burnout, or family matters as causes of career change. While getting unstuck from a traditional job is still an important consideration, the article instead focuses on personal interests, connection, pursuit of fulfillment, and an attitude of “what’s next” as dynamics that pique the professional interests of millennials.
As such, the nod to the role of professional education was a natural part of the Businessweek article. While personal interests may spur the motivation to enter a new profession or industry, just being interested in something won’t land good jobs. Credentials still matter. Jack, one of the people highlighted in the article, noted that his evening classes helped him stop “feeling trapped.”
To me, there are three parts of a successful and rewarding career change. First, nothing happens without the will and resolve to make a change, even when considering other things that anchor a person in their current job. Second, a career change requires investment, certainly of time and often of money, to learn the skills necessary for a new career. Only then can the third stage of a successful career transition really occur.