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Sustainable careers and career mobility

14 April 2022
Nowadays, a successful career often does not depend on one big decision in your twenties, but on continuous learning and trying new things. People figure out their own story, rather than following a set script. In collaboration with House of HR, Jos Akkermans (VU Amsterdam) and Sofie Jacobs (Antwerp Management School) wrote a white paper about career perspectives. 

In our current society, no one has exactly the same career experiences, which is why putting careers into perspective is so important. If we look back on what ‘career’ used to mean, most people would say it was a lifelong relationship with a company. It was something linear and predictable, with fixed steps to reach a clear goal. 

Today, the idea of lifetime employment with a singular employer is increasingly replaced by lifetime employability, often characterised by multiple transactions between job and employers. The loss of this predictable career makes it difficult to plan for the future, but also provides opportunities to change direction. Instead of a rigid corporate ladder, we now speak more often of a career path, which is created by not just moving upwards, but in all directions.

Jos Akkermans: "With this study, we provide important insights into the careers of people in Belgium and the Netherlands. What I find so fascinating about this first white paper is that we show how important it is to have an inclusive policy aimed at sustainable careers. We see, for instance, that career mobility has positive effects on well-being and health, but that the willingness to mobility is still often quite low. We really need tailor-made solutions to implement effective career policies."

Learn more about the various existing career paths and possibilities in this first white paper in a series of three:
Careers in perspective (EN)
Loopbanen in Perspectief (NL)