No such thing as a job for life? » SMEInsider

No such thing as a job for life?

With workers entering the market today likely to move through nine different jobs and one complete career change during their lives, the concept of a secure “job for life” has all but died out, says the pension firm LV=.

Research by the firm found that, during their 48 years of employment, the average worker will change jobs every five years in order to advance their career or increase their salary – and most will see each of these changes as a “stop gap” rather than a significant progression of their career.

With only 1.5% staying in the same job for their entire career, the idea of a “job for life” is “virtually extinct,” says LV=.

The report, commissioned by LV= but conducted by PCP Market Research, found that these working patterns had (unsurprisingly) undergone a major shift from previous generations. Younger people will also work far longer and for less money than their parents and grandparents, with around a quarter expected to work beyond the age of 70, or even never retire. The average person entering the workforce today can expect a starting salary of just £14,000, while their parents would have been paid the equivalent of £17,000.

Low wages and job-hopping can also deal a significant blow to workers’ pensions, according to the firm, as employees lose track of their savings while moving across different workplace schemes.

Richard Rowney, managing director for life and pensions and LV=, said: “The job for life is clearly a thing of the past, as more of us now move roles and even switch careers. The disappearance of generous workplace pensions that were ‘golden handcuffs’ for generations of workers is likely to be a key factor. This change means that responsibility for planning for retirement now lies more with the individual.”


  • Jeff Neil

    While changing jobs can move our careers forward, it’s important not to choose a new job or career that you’ll regret. Informational interviews can be a great way to get accurate and unbiased information about new career options – so you can be confident you’rechoosing the right job and career. There are 40+ great articles on how to conduct an informational interviews at – including how to find people for informational interviews, how to get their contact informational, sample request letters, questions to ask, and how to stay in touch to learn about future job openings. It takes a lot of effort to change jobs – use informational interviews to make sure it’s a smart move!