Is the concept of ‘job for life’ slowly dying?

Is the concept of ‘job for life’ slowly dying?

According to Australian social research firm McCrindle, today’s average Australian school-leavers could potentially have 17 separate employers across multiple industries over their lifetime. So if you fall into this bracket and have itchy feet, it's quite normal to seek out a new job. 

However don’t be hasty and make sure you take the time to really think about what you want to do and if you have explored all opportunities with your current employer. If you have changed jobs several times in a short space of time, you may risk being classed as a job hopper which will most likely have a negative effect on your career. During the interview process, you will be aiming to impress and ensure employers are viewing you as someone who can make a long-term commitment.

Technology is one of the biggest disruptors, creating new jobs and careers, changing how and where we work. Mobile devices, cloud computing, collaboration technologies and high-speed networks are undoubtedly transforming the traditional workplace.

The emergence of the sharing economy also supports a more independent, flexible and entrepreneurial approach to work. Through peer-to-peer platforms such as Uber, Airtasker and Airbnb, buyers and sellers connect directly, allowing people to earn an income without relying on an employer. This is making people resilient towards the concept of a job for life as there are many flexible options available.

Loyalty is a two-way street

Despite these drastic changes, the decline of the ‘job for life’ has not been a one-way street. In the face of ongoing economic uncertainty, redundancies regularly make front-page news. Job security remains a priority for many, especially when it becomes to stability and supporting a family.

Employees also want to feel valued and meaningfully connected to their jobs and employers want to attract people who will add value and grow within the business. Aligning experience and personal values with those of the organisation is a worthwhile common purpose.

2015 report by the Australian Human Resources Institute revealed an average turnover rate of 16 per cent – up 3 per cent from the previous survey in 2012. McCrindle predicts that by 2020, average job tenure will be around three years, thereby highlighting the increased employee mobility.

The pressure is growing for organisations to compete for talent and do more to retain staff. But are they doing enough?

There are countless factors that cause people to leave their jobs, but many of them can and should be addressed by the employer. Gen Y and Gen Z professionals, for example, expect flexibility, growth opportunities and staff recognition programs as the norm, rather than seeing them as perks.

Financial stability

One of the main reasons staff stay with the same employer, is for financial considerations and reassurance of a comfortable life due to a regular income. However, there are more elements to take into account.

“The financial component of work is only part of overall job satisfaction,” said Tony Gleeson, former acting CEO of AIM Group. “Employees need to feel connected to an organisation, and have the opportunity to grow and develop.”

With such dramatic shifts in the world of work, and with the expectations of several generations of employees, the concept of a job for life is becoming increasingly outdated. In this landscape, businesses need to work harder than ever to build teams of committed, loyal employees.

Would you stay in a job for life? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts. 

Subscribe to our newsletter

Share This Page