Does this story sound a bit familiar? This is the Stability Myth; the lifestyle that your parents, your grandparents, and even your great grandparents enjoyed and considered to be the perfect dream. The moral of the story is: work hard, work steady, and you’ll be set for life. You have to be “smart!” Don’t be a rock star; that’s too uncertain and there’s no guarantee of success. Get a stable job and enjoy a stable lifestyle! I don’t know about you, but this idea was certainly ingrained into my thinking. This is wisdom; this is the absolute truth; this is good common sense! Right? This is the 80s Ideal.4
And here’s the hard part, folks.
Brace yourself. The 80s are dead. And so are the 70s, 60s, so on. The Stability Myth is over and so is the concept of job security.
In modern age you cannot have the same job for 40 years - that's one of the worst career mistakes, you have to constantly reinvent yourself. Why? Theories on this vary from source to source. Some say that economic ruin made jobs scarce, leading to layoffs, leading to benefit cuts, leading to cuts in salaries. Some say that the hyper-connectivity of the Internet made businesses move online; technology made it easier and easier to do more with less, so who needs a bunch of employees? Trade policies or business realities made companies go abroad, so there’s no one left at home to hire that factory worker, that accountant, that sales expert… Who knows what the real reason is, but all it takes is a round of job hunting or talking to a few friends to know job security is a thing of the past.
Wow, that sounded doom and gloom, didn’t it?
But hold the phone, missy! It’s a gift you can REINVENT YOURSELF!
Yes, you heard me right. All those constant changes are actually a gift and opportunity to start afresh. To pause. Reconsider.
Redefine your success and eventually reinvent yourself over and over again. Knowing that the job stability is a myth means you need to stretch your muscles more than ever before. This forces both you and many others to push outside their comfort zone and try things they never would have before. You can break out of the mold that restricted all those generations before us. Now that becoming an accountant offers as much security as becoming a movie star, what’s keeping you from taking a chance on something you actually love over something you think is “smart” (emphasis on the finger quotes)? This offers the us - modern women- an unique opportunity to try out something different and exciting.