Evolution Shift
A Future Look at Today
April 19th, 2007

How Many Careers in a Lifetime?

One of the many unique aspects of the time in which we live is that it is no longer unusual to have more than one career in a lifetime.  Since the beginning of the Information Age 30 years ago it has been increasingly common for adults to have two or even three careers during their lifetimes.  Historically this is absolutely understandable.

Three hundred years ago one usually did the same work that one’s parents did, and usually in the same place. One hundred years ago, in the middle of the Industrial Age when new careers or jobs were being constantly created, people started to do different work than their parents.  While you might have entered a new field, you usually spent your entire work life in one profession or with one company, until that day when you turned 65, got the gold watch and retired.  It must be noted that the life expectancy three hundred years ago was around 45-50 years and that one hundred years ago it was 55-60 in the U.S.  Now that life expectancy is 75-80 years.

We are now living in the mature stage of the Information Age when everything is much faster, we are all living a lot longer, and we are working to an older age[It was not until 1986 that the mandatory retirement age of 65 was struck down in the U.S.]. The logical extension of these trends is that many people are having two or more careers.  A lot of the changing of careers happens in middle age, or mid-life when once has achieved some degree of success and mastery and the desire to undertake a new challenge becomes very attractive.

I mention all of this to direct you to a great web site.  If you are, or think you are in mid-life, then you should check out www.lifetwo.com , the “destination for information on middle age”.  The owners of this informative website are readers of www.evolutionshift.com  and asked me to tackle the subject of mid life career change from the point of view of a future thinker.  I accepted, and for the past few weeks have been writing columns.  The idea is to help people who are deciding to make a career change make the right decision within the context of historical trends and forces, and coming trends.  For example, disintermediation is a powerful force that is reshaping the marketplace.  It would not have been a wise decision to have started a new mid-life career in stock brokerage 15 years ago before the industry got disintermediated by the Internet.  Another example would be to have made a decision 10 years ago to enter the traditional music business.

The direct link to my column is http://lifetwo.com/production/node/20070412-mid-life-career-change-disintermediation-and-you .  I have numbered the columns, so they should be read in order.  Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with some of the ideas discussed, but perhaps in a new light they might become more practical.  While at the site, please check out the wealth of great advice and commentary that is available.  And good luck with the career change, I hope you have at least one or two good ones in your life.





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