Relax! You don't have to pick a job for life

One of my favourite animated movies is Bee Movie, and in it there’s a scene where the bees have graduated and have to choose one job for the rest of their life. Here’s a short bit of dialogue from that scene between bees Barry and Adam:

Barry: One job forever? That’s an insane choice to have to make.

 Adam: I’m relieved. Now we only have one decision to make in life.

 Barry: But, Adam, how could they have never told us that?

 Adam: Why would you question anything? We’re bees.

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For most of us, our parents and grandparents did just that. A job was a job for life. Back in the day, you’d get married in your early-mid 20s just as you were starting out your career. Though at the bottom of the chain, your salary would be enough (at that time) to secure a mortgage, and so you’d work comfortably in that company for several years and be pretty settled. A job was a job, and work was to be done, a necessity of life which was not necessarily to be enjoyed.

Today, people are changing jobs more regularly – and even moving between industries. There are more people working as freelancers, in contract jobs (as opposed to permanent), or on many different projects at once (portfolio careers), offering them variety and giving them the chance to explore.

Though it might not feel at all like it’s “mainstream”, there are a lot of people redefining work around themselves and their lives.

Whereas it can feel like there’s lots of pressure to choose a career – and there is to an extent – that choice no longer has to be one for life. So take comfort in that. In fact, the latest estimates predict that the average person now entering the workforce will have as many as 12-15 jobs in their lifetime, and this figure is predicted to grow.

In other words, you don’t have to get it “right” the first time!

You don’t have to make the “perfect choice”.

If you fall into a job by chance (as many graduates do) and find you don’t like it, it is definitely not the end of the world.

You have power and choice in your hands. The new world of work grants you permission to experiment and change, just as a new startup keeps pivoting to find a successful product-market fit. You have the opportunity to explore until you have figured out and crafted the sort of work that you want to be doing, and the sort of life that you want.


This article first appeared on QuarterLifeIntrovert: read more articles and find out more about Jas right here.

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