The rise of the x/y career path



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As I progress with my transitional journey from a standard 9 to 5 working life to a less structured, fluid existence of entrepreneurship. I am becoming more sensitized and aware of what other people are doing to make their way in the working world in their own individual style.

Up until quite recently (before the banking crisis of 2008), the majority of people were working in a job which provided a living and a sense of security which appeared to not have any looming end date. Before the financial apocalypse, a reasonable number of people could boast having a job for life!

Since 2008 there has been a gradual decline in life long career paths and many of us have been lucky to have a job of any sort. In amongst the working population, gradually more and more people are becoming aware of the fragility of their chosen career path and are either consciously deciding or are forced to take action to evade being left out in the cold.

As more people find themselves under pressure to meet the demands of household bills, a number are resorting to moonlighting activities and supplementing their day job. Obviously there are a number of people in this category that have little choice but to work the two jobs. The economic climate has displaced and created a great deal of anguish for a lot of people, at the same time for a few, it has given them the push to take action on a dream they have been nurturing for a while.

For the people who are choosing to undertake the dual occupation approach there is almost a sense of pride developing within themselves. This is probably partly due to the expanded identity they are now evolving. Instead of just being an x when questioned “what is it you do?” they can reply with “I am an x/y” which immediately sets them apart from the masses, especially if the y has a less predictable edge. It almost becomes a badge of honour knowing that they’re embarking on the less trodden path and making less easy for others to pigeon hole them.

I obviously feel for the less fortunate group of people, they have to engage in the x/y career path not by choice, but out of necessity. However I do think we are moving into a time where this might become the default for a sizeable number, whether that’s as a result of economic pressure or personal choice.

I also believe the onset of the financial crisis has made people take stock of a lot of things. They are starting to question what they are doing and why they are doing it and that’s important. If you have a safe job which pays the bills then great, but sometimes a gentle help to step back and alter our course is not always a bad thing. If you find yourself taking the x/y career path I hope you are in the fortunate position to be doing the y out of choice and it provides you with great satisfaction and nourishment. If it does, it can often reduce some of the less appealing aspects of the x element of your working life. Who knows you might end up with a y/y or y might transition to a really good z returning to a singular occupation career path only a much better one than the original.

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