Careers on Demand

by Jobbatical January 14, 2015

Paul Townsend via Flickr

Coming from a background as an executive in TV and media, our founder at Jobbatical, Karoli, is well placed to understand and describe how patterns in consumer entertainment have changed over the past decade. Take television — from linear, top-down programming, in which consumers are passive, and beholden to the whims of the channel scheduling, TV is moving — indeed, for many of us, has moved — to an on-demand model.

Do you remember the last time you planned your evening around catching a particular show? I can pinpoint my childhood memories to the day, based on the TV shows I recall watching. I talk to people around my own age, brought up in the UK but who I didn’t know as a kid, about a certain show, and we will reminisce, ‘Ah, those were the days — Saturday nights, we always stayed in and watched that, too’.

My kids will not do the same. Scheduling is an irrelevance in most homes, these days. As consumers, we choose when, where and how we watch the programmes that interest us.

More savvy, more connected

And so is the way with many things. The world is so connected now that the days of ‘middle men’ in many senses are numbered. Consumers are better informed, and better able to go direct to source, making an on-demand or market model by far the more appealing solution. Who needs a brick and mortar shop, when you have eBay and Etsy? Who needs a taxi booking office when you have Taxify? Who needs a hotel chain when your have AirBnB?

In so many ways, we are able now to access what we want, when and how we want it, and without the intermediary which would have otherwise slowed progress and added expense.

Careers on demand

It makes sense, therefore, that the move towards a market place model, with access on demand, would cross over into the world of work.

As Karoli observes,

“Work also has been linear — a company hires a person and the person goes to work at certain times. The linear way of working is like an on-going program where some of the content is useful and some of it a waste of time. Similarly to television, work is changing to an on-demand model. Both individuals and employers want to increase their flexibility and therefore professional contractual working is becoming the name of the game.”

The reality is, that a ‘job for life’ is an obsolete notion — with only 1.5% of people staying in one company for their working life, according to recent research. This model has been replaced, with careers on demand, in which employees can expect to move jobs every five years — making a total of nine different employers over a working lifetime, and — more strikingly — have an average of one total career change within that.

And therefore, the appeal of Jobbatical, changing the world of work by creating a marketplace for working sabbaticals. By giving control directly to those who are seeking a change of scene through a working sabbatical, and encouraging this flexibility of employment, Jobbatical paves the way for this new working model of careers on demand.

The transition has its painful patches, as societies move away from relying on employers to provide retirement income, and shift from the comfort blanket of workplace stability, to the more edgy but liberating position of commanding your own career choices — but ultimately a new model of increased flexibility and opportunity will emerge, in which the employee has the power to choose their own working patterns almost as easily as he chooses his TV viewing.

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