There are new trends at play now. We are moving from so-called job-hopping to actual career-hopping. People are throwing caution to the wind to pursue their passions and be their own masters.
Until about a decade and a half ago, Indians spent years trying to get a job in a government department or a PSU, and if they were lucky enough to bag one, they would stay in it till retirement. “Job security” was a thing, and people would toil their entire lifetimes for a single employer with their sights set on post-retirement benefits such as pension, provident fund and gratuity that would see them through old age.
There was no such thing as job hopping. In most cases, the employer had the last word on the tenure of employment. If a new hire could deliver the same or better results than an incumbent employee, the latter was dispensable. This is still true in sectors where labour supply is plentiful and the business outcome does not depend on the incumbent.
All that changed with globalisation. Spending your lifetime with a single employer is no longer a considered the ideal. Job tenures are becoming shorter and switching jobs is a regular thing to do. A study carried out by an executive search firm found that only 12% of the respondents had spent more than 10 years in their current company and the majority had spent just two-five years in their current jobs.
We are moving from so-called job-hopping to actual career-hopping. People are throwing caution to the wind to pursue their passions and be their own masters
Gone are the days people celebrated the end of college life by tearing up their books, overjoyed that studies were finally over. In today’s world, one has to continuously update one’s skills and knowledge or risk becoming obsolete. Rapid changes in technology and business models combined with shifting consumer preference are making entire organisations obsolete. Naturally, those who lack marketable skills have to do something entrepreneurial to survive.
Advances in artificial intelligence and automation are having profound effects on employment. In India, automation threatens to disrupt 69 per cent of the jobs, according to World Bank research. Robots are projected to take over some five million jobs by 2020. Take the instance of Facebook data centre operations, where each staffer can manage at least 20,000 servers. For some admins, the number can be as high as 26,000 systems. These numbers, which by far overshoot the average 10,000:1 server-admin ratio, have been achieved due to an integrated approach in which the operations team works closely with teams in IT and facilities and automated troubleshooting. This could fundamentally disrupt the pattern of traditional economic path in here. The fear of losing jobs and entire work streams becoming redundant due to automation is also causing people to move towards entrepreneurship.
Long gone are the days when being a doctor, lawyer or engineer was only socially accepted career choices. In fact, we are now moving on from the second wave of acceptable professions — business management, product and fashion designing, call centre jobs, hospitality services — that came up in the 90s. The last few years have seen the rise of bloggers, social media managers, chief experience officers, app developers and more. And they’re making it big. Take, for instance, Michelle Phan, a YouTube star with 8.6 million followers who look up to her for makeup advice and product recommendations. Psychologist Barry Schwartz says, however, that too many choices make people unhappy because they constantly feel that some other option would have been better. Wanting to explore options is an important driver of career-hopping.
Leisure is no longer a bad word. It is an integral part of Millennials’ lives. According to this Harvard Business Review article, Millennials strive for “work-me” balance and want time and space for self-expression. Until a few years ago, in developing economies, those who actively announced their leisure-time activities were viewed as lazy. But, things are changing. “Work hard, play hard” is the new mantra. Not wanting to work harder than necessary and valuing one’s free time is now seen as a legitimate aspiration. Leisure time when combined with financial safety enables people to pursue their passion, whether that means writing a book or running a farm.
The fear of losing jobs and entire work streams becoming redundant due to automation is also causing people to move towards entrepreneurship