Why career crises are the norm

The problem of not having a fulfilling career is a recent problem for mankind.

In the pre-industrial world, there were about 2000 distinct trades to choose from. Besides, it was enough for our predecessors to have somehow made ends meet. In today’s era of affluence, that number has climbed upwards of 500,000 and continues to rise rapidly.

How can a brain learn to process 500,000 options and pick the most suitable one? A loose analogy would be that your supermarket started stocking 6000 varieties of jam instead of 6. Your predicament is to choose one among those 6000 flavours to consume until retirement. What is more? Your friends and your peers never pass the chance to remind you, at dinner parties and on their social media feeds, how nice their variety of jam tastes.

While we have evolved to include those half a million careers as options, we haven’t yet learnt to redefine ‘career’ from its antiquated definition of being a linear path from beginning to end.

Career crises are the norm and not the exception. Hope realizing this will make them more bearable.

Inspiration: How to Find Fulfilling Work

2 thoughts on “Why career crises are the norm

  1. Let me play the Devil’s advocate here –

    You are talking about the explosion in the number of choices of profession. Not only has the number of choices increased, but so has the average person’s ability to categorise information into abstract forms. Additionally, most people were illiterate in the pre industrial era, which meant that the ability to reason in an abstract way (which is a learned skill) was largely absent in the population.

    I also see this problem of choice as a good one to have. The fact that more people can chose what to do with lives instead of being forced into a profession through a feudal system (or worse, slavery) is a hard fought right which we should cherish.

    Liked by 1 person

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