Have Jobs Become Disposable?

I have held over a dozen jobs in my lifetime and I cannot name all of the companies. Kind of sounds like a Job Hoppers Anonymous group doesn’t it? I guess you could argue that it’s not that high of a number. However, I must tell you that I am only 25 years old. Yes, they have only been part-time jobs but why did I change them so much? Was it because I hated the work or did I just get bored and need something else? Will it mean that I will jump from job to job my whole life?

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I know this is kind of a non-issue right now with the economy. In other words, if you have a job right now, you are happy with it no matter what. However, before this whole recession thing, people seemed to have a certain attitude about their jobs. They thought, “If I don’t like my job, I’ll just quit and find a better one.” Has our love for disposable goods traveled into our jobs?

Do Careers at Large Companies Still Exist?

Long gone are the days when you find a job and then spend the next 50 years of your life doing it. Companies no longer provide pensions, retirement healthcare, etc unless they are required to by union contracts. Is that the reason we change jobs so often, because companies seem to not care about their employees? 

Do Careers in General Still Exist? 

There are some companies (small businesses too) out there that seem to care about their employees. However, many people still leave those jobs in search of something different. What do companies have to do again in order to have employees want to stay there for 50 years? Anyone have some suggestions?

When I think about a career, I think about something that I make from scratch. Whether it’s making a career out of blogging (maybe one day) or starting your own ice cream shop. I just don’t think that there are careers (jobs that I would LOVE) out there anymore. Is that just me and my generation speaking? The world may never know!

What are you thoughts on this issue? I know I put a lot of questions in the post so this is meant to be an article with great conversation in the comments. I look forward to responding!

Oh and by the way, make sure you use the awesome new bookmarking tool and share this article!

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My name is Adam and I am in debt. Yep, I came out and said it in the first sentence. I hope that shows you how passionate I am about getting out of debt and enjoying life in the process. Join my wife and me on our journey and be sure to contribute to the great discussions. You can get FREE email updates about the site as soon as they are posted. If you would like to hear our whole story, visit my about page. Thanks for visiting!

15 Responses to Have Jobs Become Disposable?
  1. Wojciech @ Fiscal Fizzle
    May 8, 2009 | 4:41 PM

    Your question is valid – what do companies have to do to retain people? However, I don’t think it’s the right question to ask. I think the question assumes that companies are doing something wrong, or not doing something at all. It also assumes that people want to be “retained.”

    In my opinion, the job market has simply changed. People are more connected, more aware, and more ready than ever to knock down anyone standing in their way to achieving their goals. If that’s their current employer, they have no qualms about letting go. Loyalty is dead.

    The new generations entering the job market like a fast-moving world, flexibility, and love to “experience things,” rather than feeling tied down. All that translates into how they see and behave at their jobs.

    I think the right questions are – “What can companies do to adjust to this new job market and fill the needs of the upcoming generations?” and also “How can we adjust our operations so that people can come and go without the pressure of a long-term commitment?”

    Companies that answer either (or both) of these questions are adapting to the pace of business, and I believe they will be in high demand.

  2. Adam
    May 8, 2009 | 8:53 PM

    @Wojciech – You make a great point and I have to agree with you 100%. I think it’s the company that needs to adjust because we are just too connected now. We can easily stay connected with individuals outside of our communities and pounce on other opportunities as they arise.

  3. Alan @ Saving For Serenity
    May 8, 2009 | 9:14 PM

    Like you, I have held a number of part time jobs. Now that I’m done with school, I’ve been trying out full time work for awhile. I’ve been at my current job for 6 months – the longest I’ve ever held a single job.

    From talking to my peers, that seems to be pretty average.

    Thankfully, my current line of work is quite enjoyable. It is union, so there is a pension, and I could see myself being here for a couple of years. 50? Probably not – my job will become obsolete long before then, but for the next 6 months for sure, and probably at least a year or two beyond that. I must say though, that it is not the company itself that is making me stay. In fact, most of what they do seems to be some sort of attempt at getting us all to quit. Gone are the days where companies reward loyalty and hard work. It is probably fiscally responsible of them to get cheap new hires to replace us – so why bother taking care of us?

    Alan @ Saving For Serenity’s last blog post..How Much Should You Tip Your Waitress?

  4. Adam
    May 8, 2009 | 10:12 PM

    @Alan – Surprisingly, I held a job at Sears for over 3 years and I still had that many jobs. I guess I went through a stretch where I just went hog wild with jobs. :-)

    When you are in those union positions, they certainly want to get you off the payroll and get rid of the future obligations they will owe you (pension). Just look at what most of the auto industry in the US is going through now.

  5. Wojciech @ Fiscal Fizzle
    May 9, 2009 | 8:29 AM

    @Alan – Ironically, I continue to see stats pop up that mention how incredibly expensive it is for a company to lose an employee, and to find and train a new one (to the tune of one-year’s worth of salary!).

    So cheap new hires may be the way in terms of salary, but often there are so many other hidden costs that we don’t think about.

  6. Wojciech @ Fiscal Fizzle
    May 9, 2009 | 10:02 AM

    By the way, I really like your bookmarking tool! Definitely caught my eye and enticed me to Stumble. :)

    Wojciech @ Fiscal Fizzle’s last blog post..What’s Sizzling? – May 8th Edition

  7. Alan @ Saving For Serenity
    May 9, 2009 | 10:28 AM

    @ Wojciech – That number (one year’s salary) has to be an average. I know for my job, the “training” is only one week, and that is quite flexible. Half the time, they just throw you out there and see what happens. Its not a difficult job, so they can do that. I really wouldn’t be surprised if it was actually costing them money to keep full time employees around.

    I can’t imagine how they would spend $30k just hiring and training an employee. Maybe 1-2k. Maybe.

    Alan @ Saving For Serenity’s last blog post..One Step at a Time – A Weekend Review

  8. Wojciech @ Fiscal Fizzle
    May 9, 2009 | 12:18 PM

    @Alan – I agree with you in terms of hard costs, since I had about the same training experience. In terms of hard hours spent and money invested, that’s probably right.

    I think the stuff I’ve read that points out the $30K+ talks in terms of the initial “acclimatization” period, lost employee productivity during the first few years (no experience), unemployment insurance/health insurance costs, marketing and hiring manager salaries, time spent by management looking for and interviewing prospects, etc., etc…

    I recently talked to an accountant in my extended family and realized how much companies REALLY have to pay to keep us on payroll and pay all related costs, taxes, insurances, overhead, etc. – Sometimes it can be 2 or 2.5 times your gross salary. It was pretty incredible and eye-opening for me.

    Wojciech @ Fiscal Fizzle’s last blog post..Frugal Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

  9. Adam
    May 9, 2009 | 2:19 PM

    @Wojciech – You are definitely correct in your assumptions. I can’t even imagine how much it costs to recruit someone experienced. Just think about all of the time managers have to spend recruiting individuals when they could actually be working. That is a lot of man hours that are being “wasted” on hiring someone. There aren’t exactly “cash” costs but hidden costs that no one really thinks about.

  10. Mrs. Micah
    May 11, 2009 | 9:49 PM

    I haven’t held that many yet, but I’ve held a number at the same time. I think some fields have gone completely disposable, but it also seems to me that you run into lots of older people (I’m talking 30s & 40s, vs. 20s) who’ve either been at the same job/company for a while now, or held a couple of very similar positions at similar companies.

    What I think is gone is the days when you’d find a good career with X company right out of college. Now I think you wait until you’re in your 30s at a minimum…and even then we’re talking 10 or 20 years at a company, not necessarily 50. I don’t know if that’s a bad thing, as it may keep people from becoming sedentary. There’s one guy in my department who’s had his job for about 10 years–and he really knows it, but he’s not moving forward or upward.

    Mrs. Micah’s last blog post..Living Like a (Grad) Student

  11. Adam
    May 12, 2009 | 8:08 AM

    @Mrs Micah – You’re right. Long gone are the days when you find that “perfect” job right out of college. Typically, you find a job out of college that will look great on your resume for when you apply for that dream job. I wonder if that guy who has been there for 10 years is getting tired of it?

  12. steve aka "dream"
    May 21, 2009 | 10:03 AM

    I’m already 48 and had had over 25 different jobs before I hit 30. I learned pretty young that any job you hate is NOT worth doing because we spend too much time working to be miserable at it. I finally found a job I really enjoy even if it is only part-time. (I am in a union tho and since it’s considered seasonal work, I qualify for unemployment when I’m in temp. layoff mode.) There is no perfect job but there are many shades of great jobs…you just have to define what you enjoy. I solve puzzles for a living, i.e. I assemble exhibits for trade shows and conventions. I know one young lady who has several contracts for her own cleaning business and that offers her great flexibility to decide when she can work. (she has cancer so just doesn’t feel up to it some days.) My point is this: Life is filled with opportunities….just decide what is truly important to you and then think outside the box so you can create your own opening. Jobs ARE disposable now…. and that works both ways. Companies find ways to get rid of people every day. I actually dropped by to suggest you write a short ebook that gives readers some detailed useful advice then perhaps put a donate link with it.
    I’m working on an ebook about saving time and money in the kitchen. I’ll be offering it free and encouraging people to donate based on the value they feel it provided them. Hope you found something useful in all that!! LOL

    steve aka “dream”‘s last blog post..Writing like I talk or nuttier than a fruitcake in my pants !!

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