What’s A Mission-Driven Career?

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The nature of work is changing dramatically. Data indicates that the average employee is job hoping more often than ever before. And, interestingly, it’s paying off. Evidence suggests that workers who stay with companies for less than two years boost their lifetime earnings by more than 50 percent

The job hoping trend doesn’t seem to be declining. As employees continue to acquire skills and advanced degrees, the ability to up and move on becomes easier. Many companies now expect those who complete an MBA dual degree to find a new employer less than twenty-four months after starting. 

Dual MBA degrees let you study two subjects at once. Think engineering and business, law and business, medicine and business and even music and business. Business degrees in Data Analytics, Finance, Human Capital and Consulting are also leading employees to chart their own faster career paths.

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A Shifting Work Culture

Companies have begun to see the writing on the wall of a shifting work culture. Graduates aren’t going to stick with them or feel any loyalty if they think they can get a better deal elsewhere. Internships are no longer just just about a student getting some experience. They also now a way to entice new talent to sign on full-time. If the internship experience is bad, then no one will want to stay. Better projects, better pay and perks of great internships programs are recruitment tools to turn interns into new full-time hires.

Pre COVID-19, there was already a rise in freelance and gig culture. Younger workers have began to resist the ideas of confinement to four-walls for 50 hours per week. Now coronavirus has caused a new wave of work-from-home initiatives as companies scramble to find safe ways to continue productivity. Companies who don’t adapt to the work-from-home culture could lose out on new talent who desire the flexibility to work from anywhere in the world. 

The Motivation For Mission-Driven Work

People want to feel as though they are contributing to something greater. We’re seeing the rise of a new kind of working relationship. It’s less about slogging it out until retirement, and now about finding mission-driven work. 

Mission-driven work looks different for each individual but at the core, mission-driven work is about being motivated, empowered, and committted to work that resonates with you. Work that drives you.

Gone is the desire to start from the bottom, pay dues for five years before someone notices you. The new workforce wants to jump into projects that add value, allow them to have a voice, learn new skills and give them the chance to make an impact – sooner rather than later.

For that reason, a lot of places are thinking about new working paradigms. Instead of filling a “role,” companies now see it as their job to find people to complete projects. They view themselves as conduits that bring experts together to solve problems before everyone disbands to find opportunities elsewhere. 

This setup is changing the entire employee relationship. It’s less like a marriage and more like a casual fling on Tinder. Companies are grabbing workers for between two and five years and then pretty much accepting that the gig is up. 

While companies would love to hang onto people for as long as possible, that goal is becoming harder to accomplish as times change. Building systems around the expectation that people will leave is a wiser way to proceed. 

Smart companies are however beginning to develop a growth culture that invites innovation, career development, and mission-driven work so that rather than loose talent, they can find new ways for people to stay and grow – professionally and financially.

What Does This Mean For You?

This change at the macro level has profound implications for your career as a whole. It means thinking less about roles and more consideration of what you can do on a practical level. It means thinking about how you want to grow, the skills you want to add and the types of projects you want to be a part of (and getting paid for). 

This means that you can view your career differently. Each career opportunity adds to your life, adds to your experience and leads to the next opportunity. For instance, you’re likely not getting an accounting degree so that you can spend fifty years working for the same firm. Instead, you’re doing it to build marketable skills you can deploy in multiple situations and scenarios.

Because this career paradigm is very different from what’s come before, seek out mission mentors – people who can direct you in this new type of workplace. Start your career in a place where you know you can grow, gain real world skills and be challenged. It might not be the ultimate dream job right away, but it’s important to begin shaping your working life.

You want to be able to put your working life on a cycle. For a couple of years, you’ve got your head down, working hard in a company. Then, once that comes to an end, you start searching for the next thing, based on your evolving interests. It’s a new rhythm. A rhythm defined by you, your desire, your growth and your skills rather than the old outdated, company ladder. Defined by your mission.

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