The meaning of a career has evolved significantly with each generation. Boomers, Gen-X, Millennials, and Gen-Z all have their unique perspectives on what constitutes a career and what it means. And with each of them, the definition of what constitutes a great and successful career has also evolved over time. 

To understand what a career means to the modern employee in 2023, we first need to look at how each generation viewed careers during their time. 

Generations, Identities, and Careers

For the Baby Boomer generation, a career was often a lifetime commitment to a single organization. They saw work as a means to an end, and job stability and financial security were the most critical factors in choosing a career. For many boomers, their career path was a straightforward one – they would graduate from high school or college, get a job, work their way up the ladder, and retire with a pension. The idea of job-hopping or switching careers was uncommon and often frowned upon. 

generations in an office meeting

In contrast, Generation X saw careers in a different light. They were the first generation to experience widespread layoffs and corporate downsizing, which made job stability less of a guarantee. Gen-Xers saw their career paths as more fluid, and they were more open to the idea of switching jobs or careers as needed. They valued work-life balance and prioritized their personal lives over their careers. For many Gen-Xers, career success was defined by their ability to balance work and family life. 

Millennials, who are now in their late 20s to early 40s, have a different perspective on what a career means. They grew up in a time of rapid technological advancements and globalization, which has made the job market more competitive and dynamic. Millennials prioritize meaningful work and job satisfaction over job security and stability. They are more likely to change jobs frequently, looking for opportunities that align with their values and passions. For many millennials, a career is a way to make a difference in the world, and they are willing to take risks and work hard to achieve their goals. 

Finally, there is Gen-Z, the youngest generation in the workforce, born between 1997 and 2012. They are entering the workforce at a time of tremendous change, with the pandemic forcing many to rethink their career paths. Gen-Z prioritizes flexibility and mobility in their careers. They value work-life balance, and many are looking for opportunities to work remotely or have flexible hours. They are also more likely to pursue multiple careers simultaneously, using their skills and talents to pursue multiple interests. 

A Modern & Dynamic Definition of a Career

A Modern & Dynamic Definition of a Career

The changing meaning of a career reflects the changing nature of work itself. In the last decade, freelancing and remote work paved the way for digital nomads— professionals free to work on projects in any part of the world.  

In 2023, technology will continue to play a significant role in shaping the job market. Artificial intelligence, automation, and robotics will continue to disrupt job roles, creating new opportunities and challenges for workers. Many traditional and offshore jobs that currently exist will disappear, while new jobs that don’t yet exist will emerge. Career paths in the Knowledge Age will look more like expansive web networks and less like an upward ladder, with workers having more choices and directions to pivot their skills towards. 

As technology continues to evolve and disrupt the job market, workers will need to be more adaptable and flexible than ever before. They will need to be open to continuous learning and upskilling, as well as taking on new roles and responsibilities. They will also need to be comfortable with uncertainty and change.  

Multiple careers and remote work opportunities will become more common, and workers will need to prioritize personal fulfillment and happiness alongside their professional goals. While job security and stability were once the top priority for many, younger generations are now prioritizing meaningful work, job satisfaction, and work-life balance. The idea of a linear career path has slowly gone out of fashion. Lateral moves and total career shifts are now more common and accepted. More and more people have found themselves separating their identities from their careers, and treating their work as, well, just work. 

A career in 2023 and beyond will largely be defined by the impact that artificial intelligence will have on our society— just as the rise of the internet and globalization defined the previous decades.  

iSupport Worldwide Is Your Partner in Shaping Your Future Career

Are you ready to take control of your career in 2023 and beyond? iSupport Worldwide can help you find the perfect offshoring solutions to support your professional goals. Whether you’re looking for a traditional offshore career path or pursuing multiple interests simultaneously, our team can help you find the right fit.  

We specialize in finding talented employees for our clients, and we can help you find the right job that aligns with your values and passions.  

Let’s shape your future career together.