A hot topic in the working world is the decreasing length of time people work for a given company, either out of choice or necessity. This trend towards shorter job stints correlates with youth, in particular with Millennials (1980 – 2000), which includes my son.
A 2013 Statscan study examined what was different about the work and life situation of younger people (What has changed for young people in Canada?). A couple of salient points emerge:
- Younger people a smaller proportion of the overall population
- As a group they are more educated, putting off their entry in the labour market
- Women are gaining on men in terms of economic outlook
According to a recent Forbes article, Job Hopping the New Normal for Millennials, “Ninety-one percent of Millennials expect to stay in a job for less than three years, according to the Future Workplace “Multiple Generations @ Work” survey of 1,189 employees and 150 managers.” This is often the path to faster advancement and greater job fulfillment – they are more focused on happiness and personal fulfillment.
This US research is supported by a Workopolis study, Thinkopolis VI: Moving Work. Mining information from resumes in the Workopolis database, 51% of employees stay in one role for less than two years. And Millennials changed jobs 22% more often over a 12 year period than Gen Xers. Follow this link for an infographic summary of the report.
Employees are changing jobs to advance their careers. According the study, 88% change companies in order to get a position with more responsibility. Put another way, there’s a marked bias against promoting from within in favour of hiring from outside.
Another trend is switching career paths at least two or three times. The report says:
The most common reasons people gave for changing career paths were discovering a new field they were passionate about (35%), becoming bored/disillusioned with their original work (24%), and setbacks such as lack of advancement and /or cutbacks, layoffs in a career path (19%). [Moving Work, p.4]
This suggests the need to embrace life-long learning and to continue to build on your skill-base as technology evolves – such as embracing social media. Stay sharp, son, stay sharp!