Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Personal Transitions and Changing Work Patterns (#6)

Welcome to the penultimate discussion of the reasons why a new paradigm for career management and development is needed. If you were able to read the previous postings, you should fully agree that the one word encapsulating the entire discussion is CHANGE. Today’s blog is no different as we will take a brief look at how personal transitions and changing work patterns are offering yet another reason in support of the application of a new career paradigm.

In spite of overwhelming evidence that change is truly pervasive, we still encounter many who follow the notion that society is static, and that a choice made once is a choice made for always. Imagine for one moment just how limiting this position must be! By holding this position, we are not giving the full attention and respect necessitated by the various forms of career transitions taking place in today’s society.

Yes, people may be changing jobs or careers for different reasons, but the fact remains that each of these changes is associated with a degree of starting over! Although people may change careers as part of their career development needs, each time such change takes place, a degree of retraining is needed, which forms part of the notion of life-long learning.

Hansen (1997) quotes the work of Charland in this context who believes that –

· 1/3 of jobs in the USA are in transition;

· 1/3 of all technical jobs are to become obsolete; and

· 1/3 of all workers leave their jobs.

Another well-known and respected author, Bridges (2004), has also contributed to the discussion through various publications. The core of his writing considers how people need to approach Transitions – making sense of life’s changes.

Scanning the internet – and other (printed) sources – will soon reveal just how many authors are making their contribution to this discussion. Some state that individuals are, on average, bound to make a career change 5 – 7 times during their working lives; another goes as far as stating that the average American is changing jobs every two to four years (Penn, 2007)!

Considering the above, there is but one option, which is to agree that a new way of looking at careers and career development has become a necessity! Transitions have come to stay, and professionals assisting individuals with their career management and planning will need to rethink their relationship between personal transitions, their value systems, as well as organisational and social change.

(Based on the work of Sunny Hansen: Integrative Life Planning: Critical Tasks for Career Development and Changing Life PatternsDescription: http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=bal06-20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=0787902004).

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