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The Road Not Taken: Is that road still being formed?

Posted by Chloe McGreal, Hays Associate Recruitment Consultant, on Friday, Nov 21, 2014

light on road cropped blog pictureThe average worker is expected to have between 7 and 12 careers over their lifetime - sound like a lot? Well the average Millennial is expected to have anywhere between 15-22 careers over their lifetime. Does it ever make you wonder how we can actually achieve anything in our professional lives when we are apparently hopping from one job to the next every 4 years? This seems to be the general feeling amongst the rest of the workforce anyway.

At the tender age of 25, I myself have already worked in no less than 4 industries (telecommunications, publishing, business intelligence now recruitment for those interested). Some may call me fickle - but over that time I've worked in New Zealand, Australia, the UK and now Canada, broadened my network to an extent I couldn't even begin to quantify, gained invaluable knowledge about people, companies and what it takes to be successful in business - no matter what that business is.

The point is that Gen-Y doesn't necessarily have a #RoadNotTaken. They have one long road, that isn't in a straight line and takes many twists and turns, has a few roundabouts, and a couple of dead-ends; but is scenic nonetheless. There are caveats to this, however: I will always encourage anyone to take chances with their careers, but these must be made with strategy in mind. Is there a common theme or skill set that can be applied across new roles or careers - can you actually say with honesty that you can do everything a new role is asking of you? Also importantly, will the risk bring any reward - will it broaden your network, increase your earning potential or teach you something valuable?

I know for a fact that had I not taken the chances and opportunities I have been given to work in different positions, companies and countries there is a very good chance that I'd be working in a newsroom vastly unhappy for the rest of my days, because when I was 16 I thought I wanted to be a journalist. How many Baby Boomers who are now retired wish that they hadn't stayed in a job they didn't like because it was the norm to stay at one company for 40 years straight?

In the words of John F. Kennedy: There are costs and risks to a program of action, but they are far less than the long range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.

Chloe McGreal is a Recruitment Consultant with Hays Canada and is passionate about people and their professions. Contact her about hiring and jobs in marketing.

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