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Employed for Life

21st-Century Career Trends

Tracey Wilen-Daugenti, Courtney L. Vien and Gary Daugenti

Employed for Life: 21st-Century Career Trends is the first book to explore career development from the viewpoints of firm managers, HR professionals, recruiters, job seekers, and employees. It examines such topics as new developments in recruiting and career development; the ways social, cultural, and technological forces have changed careers; and best practices for job hunting and career planning. The authors use primary and secondary research to provide insight on how the nature of work has changed and what that means for individuals' career plans. Employed for Life shares career advice from recruiters and HR professionals and provides a framework that readers can use to ensure lifelong employment.
Some of the questions answered in this book include:
How are the new demographics of the United States changing the way we work?
How will longevity impact career planning?
Is technology creating more jobs than it destroys?
What are HR professionals doing to address talent management in the 21st century?
What insights can recruiters provide to help employees navigate a dynamic marketplace?
How are employees finding work in a difficult job market?
How can individuals plan for a career that could last 50 years or longer?
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Introduction: Times Have Changed—Has Your Career Plan?

← viii | 1 → INTRODUCTION


Not that long ago, careers in the corporate world were fairly straightforward. You’d earn a college degree and go to work for a company where the vast majority of your colleagues would be white and male. The company would train and develop you. You’d move up the ladder, gaining power, prestige, and income along the way. Even if you didn’t work for the same firm for your entire career, you’d probably stay within the same industry. You’d retire at around 65, perhaps collecting a generous pension and the proverbial gold watch, or perhaps not, but certainly planning to live off your ample savings.

Those days are long gone. Now, workers spend an average of only four years at a job and often have more than one career during their lifetimes. Most careers aren’t linear upward climbs any more; instead, they resemble lattices or labyrinths, as employees have greater freedom to change industries, freelance, take sabbaticals, return to school, opt for part-time work, or pursue business ownership as their life circumstances change. Companies engage in less training and a single college degree will no longer carry a worker throughout her career. The workforce is considerably more diverse in terms of race, gender, and national background. Pensions are a thing of the past, and retiring at 65 is no longer a viable option for many people.

But many workers behave as though the old paradigm is still in place. They assume they’ll stay with one company until they...

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