This picture is about me speaking to some of the most passionate developers that we were able to invite to our fast-paced learning event back in 2016. During this starter keynote for the day, I discussed a couple of important points regarding the modern-day key differences in our careers as compared to what they were just 30 or 40 years ago.
The slide in the picture depicts three career timelines.
On the top is displayed a simplified and fairly linear career flow that was typical in the past decades, a way of thinking that in many ways still dominates the minds of people born 30-50 years ago. It is all about getting a formal education, finding a safe and secure job, then grinding the way to the top while maybe switching employers a couple of times throughout the career.
The middle timeline shows careers of many professionals today, a tad less linear line due to the evolving economy and a personal willingness to create something of our own.
The third jagged line shows the career of modern software developers and active professionals today and in the future. The world is certainly getting crazier for the ones who are willing to invest in their skills, take risks and keep trying something new.
Traditional careers are getting torn apart, but why it is not necessarily a bad thing?
The traditional job security keeps weakening due to more efficient processes as well as an ongoing elimination of repetitive jobs. The less fortunate of us without an accrued amount of wealth are relying on odd jobs in order to keep ourselves afloat.
The economy is changing faster than ever and it is becoming difficult to find stable long-term employment. We (millennials) might partly be the first generation in human history that perhaps does not even want to have a "better life" than our parents...
"...first generation that does not even want to have a better life than our parents?"
For many of us, freedom is becoming more valuable than ever before. Freedom to express ourselves, to stay away from being tied to a certain location, or dragging ourselves into offices for the duration of traditional 9 to 5 working hours. Most of us want to make a difference and contribute more to causes that we believe in, even if it means earning a bit less.
This sounds naive even to myself but there is a flip-side to this coin:
Contrary to what we tend to hear from older generations, most of us are willing to put an all-consuming effort into relentlessly building our skills whatever those may be, remain available 24/7, and invest in constant self-learning as that is what the world requires us to do.
Why? Because that is literally the only way for a person who is not initially born to a well-off family to live in such a way. That is, to live more freely, travel while working, avoid traditional jobs and work for a cause that he or she believes in.
Nothing comes easy for a person who is not born to a rich family or does not have an exposure to a group of people that enjoy a concentration of wealth or power.
What is important to you and who do you admire?
Next time you look at the feed of a self-made person you respect, read news of the next successful company or see your friend who wasn't born with a silver spoon doing things he or she loves... Think about the effort, risks, failures and the constant pressure that those people have gone through in order to get where they are.
Regarding the constant change and the fast-paced environment that we live in, let's try to enjoy the ride, stay positive and look ahead with a tad more optimism.