Today marks 24 years since I started working at CAPS. Next year on this day I will be able to say (if I'm still here, that is) that I've spent half my life working at CAPS! (Okay, I just gave away my age.) When I tell people how long I've been working here many are surprised. I make sure to add that I haven't been in the same job for the whole time! I actually started as a Clerk Typist 3, which wasn't the job I applied and was interviewed for. Perhaps I'll write more about that in a future post.
While it is the case that the percentage of workers who spend their entire career - or a large chunk of it - with a single organization is less today than it used to be, you might be surprised to learn that this is something many of today's students desire. The 2010 From Learning to Work survey, which involved 27,779 post-secondary students from across Canada, asked 'Would you like to find an organization where you could spend your whole career?' Only 14% of respondents said no, while 57% said yes (the remainder were, presumably, undecided).
There are a myriad of reasons why people would want to work or end up working for the same employer for a long time. And those reasons vary from person to person. Often, they can provide insight into what someone values. Two things I value are variety and stability. While they may seem somewhat contradictory, I have been able to uphold those values throughout my career at the U of A. The work environment at CAPS and our raison d'être (basically to help students) are also well suited to my values.
So what might this all mean for you? Regardless of whether you find the thought of working for the same organization for most of your career appealing or not, finding work that fits what you value most is, I think, sage advice.