The Changing World of Work

Early in the 20th century, people graduating high school could expect to find a good job that would provide money and benefits to attain a solid, middle-class life with a home and children. Decades ago, that changed. Now a college degree is nearly required for a good job that will provide that middle-class life.

And with each new generation, the expectations and desires are changing. The people who are graduating college now have different expectations than previous generations. Of course, this huge group is made up of individuals and every individual is unique. But there are some general beliefs that we can pinpoint.

If you are a member of this new generation, you may have these thoughts about jobs, work, and careers:

  • Everything is possible – don’t tell me it can’t be done!
  • The world is a dangerous place, so I want to make sure that the life I live has meaning beyond earning a living.
  • It is important that I understand myself – my values, my goals, my achievements.
  • I want to develop practical skills and utilize my creativity to enrich not only my own life, but the lives of others.

In the workplace, you have standards:

  • You insist on working for honest leaders and companies that actually embody their mission statement and demonstrate social responsibility.
  • You are drawn to work that is meaningful to you and money is less of a motivator than profound work and opportunities for advancement and leadership.

If you see yourself in these statements, you will probably have many jobs within your lifetime. And many of you will have multiple careers – achieving your goals in 10 to 15 years in one field and moving to another field that provides opportunities for learning, growth, and advancement.

With the changing world of work will come changing expectations of recruiters, hiring managers, and job seekers. There is no one right path for you and your career – every job will have different requirements. Don’t fall into the trap that any resume will work for every opportunity. Put the same effort into creating the right job search documents for the current goal, whatever it may be!

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