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Re-imagining Career Paths

What does having a stable career mean to you? It may mean different things to different people. For some, it is the opportunity to plan a future. For others, it allows them to provide a good quality of life for their family.

We spend the majority of our lives working and, this is why choosing the correct career path is extremely important. Not just that, we must also think of the career future in the age of constantly changing work culture.

Nobody would have imagined 20 years ago that becoming a social media influencer could be one of the preferred career options. However, today thousands of millennials, and even boomers, are choosing to become social media influencers. Not just that; gone are the days when people used to pick a career and spend 40 years in the same field.

Career Paths in the Age of Tech

With the dynamic requirements of the market and the constant flux, a non-linear career path has also become common. This means that people may work in different profiles throughout their working careers. They don’t need to stick to a single skill or role and follow a linear path. This is also beneficial because it allows one to develop a pool of skills and gain diverse experience. This makes them somewhat immune to being laid off or their skills becoming obsolete.

At the same time, technology is also making a strong impact on work. There are job roles and skill sets which are being replaced by new-age technology. For example, data mining has become so easy using technology that you don’t need a large team of people to perform the task. New technological advancements in the future have the potential to make other skills and careers obsolete too.

However, it does not mean that everyone is facing the threat of losing their jobs to technology. It also creates opportunities as people with experience working with the new technology will find new jobs. Therefore, it is extremely important to find a way around a linear career path in today’s world. One should always be prepared to change career paths according to the changing job market.

Expanding Career Duration

The World Health Organization (WHO)  predicts that by 2030, one in six persons would be 60 years of age or older. By this point, there will be 1.4 billion people over the age of 60, up from 1 billion in 2020. The number of persons in the world who are 60 years or older will double by 2050. (2.1 billion). Between 2020 and 2050, the number of people 80 or older is projected to reach 426 million.

This means people may have to work for more years to save enough for their retirement years. Not just that, reports suggest that millennials in the US are saving much less as compared to the previous generation. At the same time, they are burdened by student loans and rising interest rates. This puts them in a situation where they have to work for longer years to save what the people in their previous generations would save in lesser work years.

While some surveys in India have found that Indian millennials are showing prudence in planning their finances, they face the same challenges as others.

Global Turbulences

The global economic conditions are poor because of the Covid pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war. There are reports of large tech companies laying off employees. Inflation rates are high and the millennials are being pushed to spend more on a lifestyle extolled by social media.

Inflation and other economic conditions can push the retirement age of millennials for several reasons. Firstly, if inflation rates increase, it means that the value of money decreases, making it harder for individuals to save for retirement. Secondly, the cost of living has increased, and with rising healthcare and housing expenses, individuals may need to work longer to save up enough money to retire comfortably. 

Thirdly, millennials may have to delay retirement if they have significant debt, such as student loans, which can take years to pay off. Finally, changes in social security and pension policies may also play a role in delaying retirement for millennials. These factors combined make it challenging for millennials to retire at the traditional retirement age, leading them to work longer.

Advantages of Non-linear Career Paths

Non-linear career paths have various advantages over conventional linear career paths for people in today’s fast-paced, always-changing world. First of all, non-linear career paths give people the freedom to explore other fields, occupations, and skill sets, enabling them to amass a variety of experiences and information. This adaptability can be extremely beneficial in a job market that is quickly changing. A job market where new technology and sectors are always emerging. 

Second, non-linear career paths give people the freedom to change directions in their work to suit shifting circumstances or personal interests. People could find that they need to change occupations because of the economy, changes in their personal lives, or a desire to follow a passion. A non-linear work path gives you the freedom to change directions and move on to other opportunities. 

Thirdly, non-linear career paths let people acquire a wide variety of skills and abilities, which makes them more flexible and robust to change. A varied skill set can help people stay competitive in the labour market as automation and artificial intelligence become more commonplace. 

Finally, because people can pursue work that is in line with their values, interests, and passions, non-linear career paths can result in greater job satisfaction and fulfilment. This can lead to a more fulfilled existence and an improvement in general well-being. 

Reimagining Career Paths, Reimagining Oneself

All things considered, non-linear career paths give people flexibility, adaptation, and the opportunity to pursue meaningful work that fits with their passions and interests. A non-linear career path can give you the tools and abilities you need to prosper in today’s fast-changing work market.

Therefore, it is important for everyone to re-imagine career paths as we have learned that it can help them in remaining relevant in a rapidly changing job market. You don’t need to be stuck in the same job or career even if you stop deriving satisfaction from it. There are options available for you to gain new knowledge and learn new skills through online platforms. Upskilling and re-skilling are changing the way one approaches his or her career.

So, if you want to find greater job satisfaction, it is always a good idea to change paths. Re-imagining career paths is not just a necessity but also a great advantage that was not available to people in the past.

Smile Foundation and Vocational Training for Career Options

Smile Foundation’s Livelihood Programme, STeP (Smile Twin e-Learning Programme), aims at creating a pool of young and independent people, from a section of underserved youth, through skill enhancement in tandem with market requirements.

The youth are trained in Healthcare, BFSI, BPO, Retail Management, Core Employability and Digital Marketing. The students are also provided practical exposure through career counselling and employee engagement.

So far, over 65,000 youth and more than 45,000 have been placed in over 400 respectable brands across India. Join hands with our livelihood initiative today and empower our youth to take charge of their lives and make India lead in future employment data.

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