Career Mobility: A Choice or Necessity? Essay

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Career Mobility: A Choice or Necessity? What is triggering the industrial, occupational, and geographical mobility of today's workers? Some believe it is a response to downsizing and restructuring. Others believe it reflects a pursuit for job advancement and a better quality of life. This Digest examines the factors triggering workers' career mobility and suggests ways workers can use career mobility to capitalize on the dynamics of a changing workplace. Factors Contributing to Career Mobility Job mobility in the U.S. work force has become the standard employment pattern in today's workplace. Between 1991 and 1996, the median job tenure for men 25-64 years of age fell by an average of approximately 19 percent, with older workers…show more content…
It is just that the skills they have and/or their job functions no longer fit their organizations; they are outdated. Workers whose skills or motivations no longer fit the organization are being eliminated. "Over the past two decades, Fortune 500 companies have laid off millions of workers to re-engineer organizational functions" (Borchard 1995, p. 9). Knowing these facts, many workers who want to retain a competitive position in the work force are moving to acquire new skills that will enable them to fulfill new roles. They are taking risks (some imposed and some elected) to tackle the unfamiliar and develop the skills they need to assume new and challenging positions in the workplace. Pursuit of a Good Career Match Young workers typically demonstrate their quest for a good career match by frequent job moves. According to Feller (1996), "as many as 50% to 60% of all new hires leave their jobs within the first seven months" (p. 95). Some job churning may be due to limited knowledge of job requirements and unrealistic job expectations. For more experienced workers, the job hop may reflect an attempt to step up the career ladder. A person may have one or two short-term jobs, but when that employment pattern is extensive, it can have a negative influence on an employer's decision to hire. Therefore, job hopping in search of a satisfying career should not become a way of life. Because it is costly to hire and train new workers, some employers believe
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