What does the word ‘Career’ really mean now?

Have you considered what is meant by the traditional word ‘career’?  Punch it in to ‘Google’ and it comes up with this:

Career  =  An occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress”

However, the digital and technological revolution we are experiencing is moving at such a rate, we need to ask ourselves what the word ‘Career’  really means now.  In particular, how long are we really expected to be working?!


The ‘60 Year Career’ is becoming the new ‘norm’ and like everything we have to evolve and change to fit in to this new state of play.  The goal posts haven’t just moved …….. someone or something has grabbed them and run off in to the distance!

Joking apart, what does this really mean?

Well, for those people over 50 years of age, they would have traditionally been working towards a retirement age of around 55 to 65.  So, for many of them this is no longer a reality. The goalposts in their case have really moved and it’s highly likely they’ll be working until their late 70’s!

For some, they are using this as an opportunity to move in to new careers they are truly passionate about.  They really want to continue working and earning until their later years.  They’ve been given a new lease of life and want to stay current and continue to be active in work and the community.  People in their 50’s and 60’s are more likely now to consider having a complete career change.  They have the chance to tap in to some new opportunities they may not have been able to consider in earlier life.

For some, it is essential to work longer for financial reasons.  It will be purely a means to an end to secure their care and lifestyle for when they reach their older years.  Again, those traditional assumptions of when we reach those older years are different.  If we just cast our thoughts back traditionally to when our Grandparents were in their late 60’s, they were very different to those in their 60’s now.  We are keeping fit, travelling, running businesses, posting on social media and enjoying life rather than putting our feet up and leaving it all to the ‘youngsters’!  We are a very different ‘older generation’.

However, those ‘youngsters’ are today’s ‘Millenials’ and the word ‘Career’ looks very different again to them.  Career isn’t about signing up for the long haul.  It’s about seeking new opportunities and recognising their career journey could be heading for job roles that haven’t even been invented yet!  How do you plan an education and a career when it’s still being defined?

They are working harder, faster and smarter with different agenda’s.  They want to move around, travel, explore and challenge the status quo.  They are inventing and re-inventing our world and they are the one’s driving the Career agenda of the future.  They’ve got our gold posts!  They are the new generation.

What do these parallels have in common?

Being clear about what you are passionate about and what you really enjoy in paramount.  Building on your personal brand and keeping up to date with market trends; knowing your own strengths and motivators and aligning your skills to them is essential so you’re not left ‘behind the curve’!

If you are clear about these then you can adapt to change no matter how old you are or where you are in your ‘Career’.  Whether you are starting out, winding down or setting off in a totally new direction; every day is a learning day.  So focus on today and see what tomorrow brings.