Transdiscipinarity: Challenging the Traditional Career Path

Most of us are aware that the days of working for the same employer for 20 or 30 years are long behind us. Today, career progression is more about jumping around across different disciplines than the linear approach our parents took.

While Millennials are often associated with this trend it is going to impact every generation and organisation in the future.

According to writer Adam Poswolsky, career switching is now something that we can expect to see more and more frequently, and not just once in a lifetime but multiple times as people seek more fulfilling and rewarding careers and eschew traditional career paths.

Job-hopping is a trend that is commonly associated with Millennials and this assertion is backed up by plenty of data. A recent Gallup poll found 21% of Millennials reported that they’d changed jobs within the previous year – that’s triple the number of non-millennials who have switched employers in the same time period.

The Millennial respondents to the survey were also found to take less of a long term view of their current jobs with half saying they didn’t plan to be working for their current organisation a year from now.

It’s clear that Millennials are more likely than any of the rest of us to move around but why is this exactly? According to the Gallup results it has a lot to do with engagement. Millennials are just not as engaged with the organisations they work for as previous generations have been.

This doesn’t mean that Millennials are just not engaged with work as some would suggest, it’s more that they are engaged by different things than their predecessors. Organisations that want to attract and retain Millennial workers need to be aware of the differences and take steps to create an environment that appeals to this generation of the workforce.

According to a survey of Millennials conducted by Deloitte, 75% of Millennials feel that businesses are too self-focused and not focused enough on improving society. Half of the Millennials surveyed for the report would be willing to reduce the amount they earn to find work that is in line with their values and 90% want to use their skills for good.

The motivation to find work that is meaningful and allows them to live life on their own terms is one of the reasons why so many Millennials work in freelance jobs.

Rather than the traditional career path of starting at the bottom and working their way up, more and more people are jumping from different opportunities and across different disciplines to find work that is meaningful to them.

The employees of the future are more likely to look for ways they can use their skills and talents to benefit others and less likely to be tied to traditional job titles.