Jobs vs A Career?

Distinguished Professor Robert M. Donnelly


Years of research have indicated that about 80% of employees in the U.S. and around the world are disengaged in their jobs.


Why is that?


Well if you think back to your graduation all you wanted was a JOB – any job. That hasn’t changed since you graduated. Only today due to technology, robotics, and AI, many jobs involving repetitive tasks and human analysis of results, are being automated out of existence. It’s a fact that companies are more profitable and operationally efficient today with fewer employees due to these advances in data science.


The World Economic Forum recently projected that by 2025 (just 7 years from now) more than half of all workplace tasks will be carried out by machines or algorithms. Additionally, WEF expects that nearly half of all companies full time work forces to shrink by 2022. That’s only 3 years from now!


Other changes that WEF anticipates is: a significant shift in the quality, location, format, and permanency of jobs. Companies are expected to also expand the use of contractors for task specialised work, engage workers in more flexible arrangements, utilize remote staffing, and change locations to get access to the best talent.


Given that more and more students are graduating these days – where are they going to get a job in the new world of work?


The other more significant factor that mystifies economists in this era of prosperity is that wages are not increasing in line with the growth in the economy. The answer to that is quite simple in that more people in higher paying jobs are being displaced by technology then those being hired for lower paying jobs in the service sector. Those being made redundant do not have the skills for the jobs that are being created by technology, nor do can they learn these skills quickly.

Given all of this, the concept of a job, and jobs for a lifetime of work, need to be reconsidered by students and even those who entered the job market over the last years. It is obvious that there is a new world of work and data science is increasingly altering the landscape of work and jobs.

It’s a fact that the majority of graduates take jobs just to have a job doing work that is unrelated to what they majored in. Typically, after a short while they do not like the job, don’t want to go to work, and want to leave as soon as they can to look for another job. The next job and the jobs thereafter are repetitions of their initial job experience.


Why is that?


Well they probably do not have the aptitude to master all the jobs they have and spend their work life frustrated, unfulfilled, and not financially secure. I advise my students to spend the time they have getting an education to reflect more on what they want to be during their lifetime of work, than on just getting a job and having a work life of just jobs.


If you don’t know what you want to be/achieve over a lifetime of work, you certainly cannot achieve it.

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