M. Douglas Wray

10 Jobs On Average

From DJ Cline.com

10 Jobs On Average

U.S. Bureau of Labor study shows that Americans in their forties held at least ten jobs on average. www.bls.gov/new.release/nlsoy.toc.htm

Now mind you, that is the average. That means that there are people holding twenty jobs in the past 25 years. It means that the average job lasts between one and three years. Nothing drives home the dramatic instability of the modern workplace than these numbers.

I get a lot of resumes and I know a lot of recruiters. This study confirms my suspicions. Everybody is constantly looking for work. They know they cannot stay where they are because where they are won’t be there anymore.

Unfortunately there is an outdated view that companies want employees who have worked somewhere for a long time. This recent study shows that to be statistically unlikely. I recommend you point this study out to as many people as possible as a wake up call.

Economists like to point out that the American workforce is more flexible and dynamic than Europe. Employees have to be as dynamic as the companies they work for, so don’t look down at a candidate who has worked many places. They have wider experience and might know how to solve a problem a company hasn’t encountered yet.

I know in Silicon Valley the business cycles are accelerated even more. There are people who have the equivalent of several lifetimes’ experience with how to build companies and deal with the problems of growth and obsolescence. Given the choice, I would pick them over some statistical fluke that steered through twenty years of bureaucratic inertia at the same company.

There are companies that specialize in change management. Doesn’t it make sense to hire employees who are familiar with change?

Copyright 2006 DJ Cline. All rights reserved.

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