Changing Occupations: Causes & Worker Retraining

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  • 0:01 Changing Occupations
  • 1:57 Worker Retraining
  • 4:18 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Devin Kowalczyk

Devin has taught psychology and has a master's degree in clinical forensic psychology. He is working on his PhD.

In this lesson, we will discuss the issues that come with losing one's current career and the cumulative problems that occur as workers age or attempt to retrain.

Changing Occupations

There comes a time when we must either stick with what we're doing or find greener pastures. I might be talking about places to pick over for candy and free food, but more often in the real world, this has to do with changing careers. Sometimes, we find reasons to leave a job and find a new one; other times we are asked to find a new job.

In fact, when we look at a poll in Time in 2008, we see some very important reasons why people are changing their careers. The primary reason people are losing their jobs is due to downsizing and restructuring. This is known as losing one's job, getting canned, fired, kicked out, pink slipped or shown the door. The next is because people want something new, challenging or they were offered a better opportunity elsewhere. The third reason people lose or quit their job and find a new occupation is ineffective leadership, and the fourth is a poor relationship with the manager or supervisor. The fifth reason is to improve work-life balance.

Job loss is the termination of one's current working career. This is devastating to people who need the work to continue paying for their homes, their cars and their food. According to research by Holmes and Rahe, job loss is the eighth most stressful life event an individual will likely face. It is nestled between the stress of getting married and the stress of reconciling a marriage, effectively major changes to one's life.

So far, we have talked mainly about losing one's job, and this is because it is one of the most stressful and sudden life events, as well as one of the biggest reasons people change positions. In the next section, we will look at how the timing of job loss and training for new positions is linked to stress.

Worker Retraining

Let's use an example to illustrate, in a concrete way, the issue of changing careers. Losing a job or leaving your current one without an offer in hand is like having a large rock put on your back. You get mad; you try to get rid of it; you get depressed, and finally, you accept it and deal with it.

To add more stress, all we have to do is manipulate a few things. What if the individual we are talking about is older? While it is currently against the Americans with Disabilities Act to discriminate based on age, it still happens. People just don't want to hire older individuals. If we look back to our example, we see that with more age comes more stones and more weight. It is just more to handle when you're older.

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