Why the Word 'Career' has Become Obsolete

The iconic 'gold watch' career path, in which people stay with the same employers for their entire working lives, has become anachronistic, says Thornton A. May. Today, the most important skill is the ability to acquire new skills

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Like technologies, some words have life spans. They are born, enter the mainstream and then fade into obsolescence. Research from the Olin Innovation Lab and AIIM Executive Leadership Summit posits that the word career is due for a major rethink.

The iconic "gold watch" career path, in which people stay with the same employer for their entire working lives, has become anachronistic.

In the Middle Ages, one never heard the word career. Clerics in their monasteries (the first estate), kings in their courts (the second estate), and commoners in their mud huts (the third estate) didn't discuss career options.

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