Work fluidity in the 21st century

During the past decades, the needs of the labor market, as well as the work trends were implying a simple career path: one’s profession was entirely determined by their field of studies. The job market seemed accessible enough, and the career opportunities were specific. Accountants, salespeople, lawyers, and teachers were some typical professions. Of course, today those professions still exist, but many more have emerged. The technological advancement, the rapid change of working trends, as well as the multiple information and education opportunities have completely changed the labor force scenery.

In fact, the opportunities are numerous: even from an early stage in the education system, students have access to vocational guidance, counselling, and information about an easy transition to the adult work life. This helps them to not only have a clear image of the variety of career opportunities they have, but also to assess their competences, find their talents and opt for the most suitable for them field of studies. Besides that, they may discover unexpected vocations and/ or additional new, interesting, and sometimes even extremely promising new career choices.

A great evolution in the way of finding and choosing a suitable career path is facilitated by the development of further education and life-long learning. Nowadays, a bachelor’s degree does not guarantee competence, and competence does not come with a bachelor’s degree. Thanks to training and learning opportunities, people can now improve their scientific qualifications and gain more professional tools. With learning mobilities, massive open online courses (MOOCs), conferences, thematic seminars and many more opportunities, young people are presented with a variety of skills, aptitudes and knowledge that can help them develop their professional performance, or even start with a brand new career path. This is also evident in times of professional stagnancy, where personal flexibility may open some previously unforeseen career changes and opportunities that may result in career changes with sometimes astonishingly positive results.

The latest technological and educational opportunities have changed the working trends and boosted the work attitude of many professionals regardless of age. Still, this newly uncovered need for flexibility is usually easier for younger people to adapt to, since they are often more open to new challenges and job requirements.

As there are now less barriers among different jobs, and one can become almost anything they want, there are practically infinite job and career opportunities for everyone. All kinds of tools and trainings are available and accessible, as they may be provided through several different sources. Thus, it has become easier to pursue, start, quit or change one’s profession, yet one must keep in mind that change is constant and the future in one’s career may also be subject to change. For example, having to switch between different jobs may soon become the norm, not the exception, a necessity rather than a choice.

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