You have no job, you have a project!

The future is already here, and it has changed jobs. Better take notice. Cartoon credit: TimoElliott.com

The rate of knowledge decay varies in different fields. What we learnt at our primary and secondary schools is likely to remain valid for a longer time that what we learnt at the university. What we learn as professional decays much more rapidly, and if we are in technology or, worse, in Information Technology, our knowledge will last an even shorter time. Credit: Shüppel, 1996

I just read an interesting blog of Shelly Palmer, discussing what one should do to cope with the changing job environment.  I really resonate with what he is saying, possibly because this is the kind of vision we have (most of us at least) at EIT Digital as we invest in education. Shape our future generation by involving them in projects and make sure that building innovation is their goal and commitment.

If that is the case, you are bound to change your specific activities over and over through the course of years, since what was innovation two years ago now is getting stale and you need to move on.

An analyses of jobs held by baby boomers, 9,964 men and women in US, those born in the late fifties/early sixties, by the US Bureau of Labour Statistics and published (revised) in 2015, is showing that between the age of 18 and the age of 48 this generation has seen an average of 11.7 jobs, that is less than 3 years per job.  This period is actually getting shorter when looking at Millennials, with an average length per job around 2 years.

Clearly, it looks much more these people are working on a project, rather than on a job. They should look at their boss more like at their client, to whom they sell their skills and as they do that they should get ready to move on to a new client and a new project.

If you take this point of view, and it really makes sense to me, even though in some Countries, like Italy, the dream for many youngsters is still the "lifetime job", then it is crucial that you perceive yourself as a "product" that needs to be sold. To do that your product, you, needs to remain competitive on the market, you need to have a unique proposition and since the market needs keep changing so you need to change.

Knowledge is changing so rapidly that our knowledge is decaying rapidly unless we update it continuously. Our EIT Digital Professional School is a response to these changing times and growing needs, but what is really needed is a change of attitude, particularly in the younger generations and I am afraid that our schools, and our families, are not preparing our kids to this new world.

Author - Roberto Saracco

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