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Will Your 'Job For Life' Be Obsolete In A Few Years?

by Shelly Horton
Posted: July 19, 2016

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A job for life doesn’t exist anymore and that is excellent news. Follow your passion, writes Journalist and TV Presenter, Shelly Horton.

There are a lot of naysayers predicting doom and gloom when it comes to future employment in Australia.

A new study, by Deloitte Access Economics, shows more than two thirds of Australian workers believe having a job for life no longer exists. 

There is a lot of pressure on teenagers to choose their career in high school. It determines what subjects they take and final marks determine if they can in fact, follow their dream.

Well, rather than be terrified about such a big decision, it’s time to change the way we look at the issue.

We should rejoice that it’s not so final

Follow your passion

The same applies to adults. If your job is sucking the joy out of your life, guess what? You can change jobs. You can follow your passions. If you’re expecting change, you can prepare for it.

“The key finding of this research is over 60% of workers are expecting change. For many people, that’s an exciting opportunity. It could mean an opportunity to work overseas or apply their skills in a new way,” says John O’Mahony, a partner at Deloitte Access Economics.

The study surveyed 1400 people around the country across a variety of professions and ages and found two-thirds of those with less than five years’ experience (early-career Australians) expect that their job will not exist, or will fundamentally change, in the next 15 years. 

However, O’Mahoney says the research showed a lot of people are staying with the same employer, but moving within the business. “They might move within their industry – move from marketing, to an operations role or managerial role,” he says. “The ability of Australian labour market to create opportunities to move around is an economic strength for Australia,” he says.

The way forward

This woman doesn't have a job for life, but she's happy and moving forward

Employers often encourage staff to explore different areas within the business rather than see them walk out the door. Some will even subsidise education courses if they can see the benefits to the company. The employee gets to study a new area and re-skill while still employed. This removes a lot of the fear surrounding change.

“The research that we’ve done on one of the fastest growing industries, IT, shows that most of the roles require a mix of technical skills such as web design as well as other skills such as general sales.  Employees who can do both of those things are the ones who will get the most opportunities in the future labour market,” says O’Mahoney.

Employees of the future will need to have a good balance of broad skills and technical expertise to make the most of those opportunities,” he says.

But the survey also found higher education qualifications were increasingly transferable. About 40 per cent of university education employees have a degree outside their primary areas of work.

So don’t feel stuck in the job you have. Poke your head outside the office door and let your passion guide you to a new area. Everyone can benefit and there’s nothing gloomy about that prediction.  

Inspired to follow your passion and change careers? Make an informed decision with the most current advice by reading our Career Change Guide.


Shelly Horton

Known for fronting up to uncomfortable conversations and never sitting on the fence, Shelly is a well-known voice in the area of pop culture, women's issues and health. She’s interviewed everyone from Tom Cruise and Kim Kardashian to the Dalai Lama.

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