According to the US BLS, an average professional stays in a job 4.4 years and is going to have 15-20 jobs over the course of their career. One has only to spend some time looking at profiles on LinkedIn to see this change in effect. Look at a professional's last 10-15 years of their career to see them holding many positions. Compare that to the immediate ten years prior when you may see they held only one or two other positions.
I am an example of this. In the last ten years, I have held three different positions while in the ten years prior to that, I worked for one company for that ten years. In the course of my career, I have already held 8 different positions and will most likely hold a few more before my working days come to a close.
What this brings to light is that looking for your next job is now a permanent staple of your career planning. If you are going to advance your career, you need to constantly be looking for that next great job opportunity. There is no getting around it. If you are going to get the most out of your career, you need to accept that this is the new normal and the days of life-long jobs are over.
I know some most likely read that last paragraph with dread. The thought of spending hours sifting through job board posting after posting is enough to fill anyone with dread. The tools today are tedious and, quite frankly, ineffective. It's no wonder that a survey conducted by the Wall Street Journal in 2012 showed 79% of professionals dis-satisfied with available tools. The alternative is not much better. Post your career profile on public display and turn yourself into your own personal job ad - while also subjecting yourself to the same problems - too many unqualified jobs filling your inbox.
Most of these tools worked well - ten or fifteen years ago - when you might have looked for a job once or twice of your career. Now, however, professionals need to consider permanently looking for their next opportunity as part of their career toolbox.
Things have changed in the work world and, along with it, the importance of a professional in their approach to job search. What are your thoughts?