Sounds like a paradox but it’s not. Gone are the days when you worked for 25 years at the same corporation then retired with a gold watch. Finite. Forget it. Nowadays companies are always looking out for the new up-and-comers with more skills and better ideas. That means that you need to always be on the lookout for a new job or even a new career.
The trick is not to get laid off or fired to make room for someone else. That means you need to keep your network current so when you need to change careers there are people who have your back and may be able to help you. It also means paying attention to your work atmosphere and noticing when people start disappearing from the office. That should be a red flag that it’s time for you to update your resume.
In other words the stability comes from being one step ahead of your organization. You need to leave it before it leaves you. People in their 20s change jobs about every 18 months. “Being in a new position and doing something for a year or two is great. But later, the things that are not as appealing about the job start to wear on you.” That’s when work becomes – work – and a chore, rather than anything that can provide you with satisfaction.
That’s the thing about 21st century workers. It isn’t enough to have stability and a good salary. We want it all: a good salary, interesting work, time off, opportunity for promotion, decent sick leave time and on and on. Worker demands have increased and companies have to stay in step with these demands. That means they are only going to keep the creme de la creme and they’ll fire or “lay off” the rest.
Some people suggest that you do what you love to do. For those people this formula seems to have worked but these people are usually few and far between. For most of us finding a job we are good at and getting paid a decent salary is the best we can hope for. And even then after a while you aren’t going to be satisfied because the humdrum and the stressors will inevitably set in and it will be time to go.
So try lots of job. Maybe find an industry you like and go from there. And I mean literally go from there.