But change is stressful. This is true all the way down to the level of biology. If you give an organism a consistent environment, unchanging levels of temperature, moisture, nutrients, and threats, it will adjust itself to succeed in that environment. If the environment begins to change frequently or rapidly or both, the organism doesn’t know what to expect and goes into a state of high alert. Stress is the name we give to this high-alert state. In the short term, it keeps the organism alive, but in the long term, it’s a killer. No wonder many people view change and stress as the enemy. But as important as it is to escape or relieve stress, it’s important to remember that the stress reaction serves a vital purpose. You can’t survive in the long term if you die in the short term.
The surest way to ensure extinction is to resist change and adaptation.
The key to the success of Generation Flux is that they adapt to their ever-changing environment. They neither pretend that change isn’t happening nor allow the need for constant adaptation to overwhelm them. Generation Flux is agile and resilient, quick to pivot away from unsuccessful strategies and tough enough to handle setbacks. They are not afraid to fail, since failures are inevitable, and adaptation requires failure. They realize that career success will look different and will be won differently than in the past.
The career lifecycle is spinning faster and faster as the economy changes ever more rapidly, and this lifecycle follows the repeating progression in the image above.
Every job is temporary.
C A R E E R E A L I S M . C O M
A generation ago, someone might have passed through the cycle only once. Having to prepare for a new job was considered a failure, even a disaster. We need to abandon that stigma. The environment has changed, and success requires rapid adaptation. This is the new normal. Of course, the boundaries between these stages are blurred. For example, your experiences while working a job should be preparing you for your next job. So don’t be surprised if the discussion of one stage starts bleeding into another.
Adaptability is the name of the game; if you understand that you must now be adaptable and flexible, you will find a way to succeed in your career. If not, you will succumb to job market pressures. We can no longer rely on a decent blue-collar job in manufacturing or a white collar job in another industry where if we just go to work and do a good job we will make a decent living wage and be able to support a family. This simply is not the case anymore, and the sooner we wake up and start enhancing our skills in niche areas (where others aren’t focusing), the more successful we will all be. Yes, it has gotten harder to manage a career from job to job to job to job, but it also affords us a lot more opportunity than in previous generations to work in many more different and varied industries and companies. While there are definitely cons to today’s job environment, there is genuine, incredible opportunity out there. At times, managing our career path might seem daunting. I fully relate because I’ve been frustrated in my own career. Take a minute to look at my LinkedIn profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/milesanthonysmith. I recognize that my career path is by no means the only way to do it, but you can see how I have used flexibility and adaptability to find opportunities that would utilize my skills and talents in spite of the fact that I’ve had many very different job titles and industries. It’s up to us to determine what path we are going to take and chart that course. Make no mistake, it will be an interesting course, not necessarily easy, with its share of ups and downs, but it has the potential to be a more varied, worthwhile, and meaningful career than previous generations experienced.
To discover why the job market is seemingly in chaos and learn practical action steps to navigate your career journey, get Becoming Generation Flux now.