The Times They Are a-Changin'
The Big Quit
Dylan's hypnotic guitar
My Spotify plays "The Times They Are a-Changin'", by Bob Dylan.
It was 1964, and the musician just released an album with the same name.
Dylan wrote the song as an intentional attempt to create an anthem of change for the time, influenced by Irish and Scottish ballads.
Since its release, this song has been influential to people's views on society, with critics noting the universal lyrics as contributing to the song's lasting message of change.
This was a song with a purpose.
He wanted to write a big song, with short concise verses that piled up on each other in a hypnotic way. The civil rights movement and the folk music movement were pretty close for a while and allied together at that time.
The Industrial Revolution
His acoustic guitar makes me travel back in history, to the "Industrial Revolution", a transition to the new manufacturing processes that started in Great Britain and spread slowly to continental Europe, the United States, and other countries.
By the mid-18th century, Britain was the world's leading commercial nation, controlling a global trading empire with colonies in North America and the Caribbean. The development of trade and the rise of business were among the major causes of the Industrial Revolution.
It marked a major turning point in history, comparable only to humanity's adoption of agriculture concerning material advancement, the Industrial Revolution influenced in some way almost every aspect of daily life.
In particular, the average income and population began to exhibit unprecedented sustained growth. One of the most important effects of the Industrial Revolution was that the standard of living for the general population in the western world began to increase consistently for the first time in history.
An economic recession occurred from the late 1830s to the early 1840s when the adoption of the early innovations, such as mechanized spinning and weaving, slowed and their markets matured.
Innovations developed late in the period, such as the increasing adoption of locomotives, steamboats and steamships, and hot blast iron smelting. New technologies, such as the electrical telegraph, widely introduced in the 1840s and 1850s, were not powerful enough to drive high rates of growth.
Rapid economic growth began to occur after 1870, springing from a new group of innovations in what has been called the "Second Industrial Revolution".
These innovations included new steel-making processes, mass production, assembly lines, electrical grid systems, the large-scale manufacture of machine tools, and the use of increasingly advanced machinery in steam-powered factories.
The employment teciture
Before the establishment of factories, almost every job was predominantly performed by hand. Technological innovations made work a lot easier.
The period of industrialization brought about significant changes in the lives of workers in Europe. Skilled artisans now faced stiff competition from unskilled workers who started working in factories.
Though the period started with short-term job losses, it soon created jobs in different fields that were previously non-existent.
Covid and the rat race
Though history is not cyclic, there's an event cadence where one can find and associate similar cause-effect situations.
It happens to be cyclic in general terms, in a macroscopic view.
Covid exploded like a bomb in the hands of the world.
Hunger, grief, and anxiety grew exponentially.
People dying, people suffering from secondary effects, many businesses without a chance to keep working, many people lost their jobs, a stretched health system full of diseased people, and a handful of safety measures that kept us at home for two long years.
All these together, made people look in the mirror.
Wage stagnation, the rising cost of living, limited opportunities for career advancement, hostile work environments, lack of benefits, inflexible remote-work policies, and long-lasting job dissatisfaction are among the top causes for people to start quitting their jobs.
That's the "Great Resignation", also known as the "Big Quit", which started in early 2021, in the wake of the pandemic, and didn't stop till the present time.
There's disagreement as to whether or not the Great Resignation will have a lasting effect.
From my perspective yes, it will be here to stay for a decade or two.
We're on the brink of a new industrial revolution, with industries being disrupted every day, with AI and Machine Learning already working side-by-side with common people.
We don't even know if sooner, rather than later, humans won't need to work anymore, or will be focused on particular fields that don't even exist today.
Be part of the change or be pushed to change
We don't have many options.
Being actively a part of the change, or being pushed to change (as in the Industrial Revolution), we can see that in a few years, the job market will change a lot. Many jobs will disappear, and others will exist held to different standards.
Home is the new office, and careers that were widely recognized and well-paid, are now being pursued, abused, and destroyed by a new kind of merciless tech capitalism and social network politicians.
As the Big Quit movement tends to last, "quiet quitting" (its second phase) is now viral on the web.
Employees choosing to not go above and beyond their jobs in ways that include refusing to answer emails during evenings or weekends, or skipping extra assignments that fall outside their core duties, is catching on, especially among Gen Zers.
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago
There's this Chinese proverb that says "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now".
Tech and Finance will be the two main trends in the job market.
Maybe it's time for you to also recognize that "The Times They're a-Changin'" and start thinking about what will you do with the rest of your life.
I did my career change from Civil Engineering to Software Engineering back in 2017, and it changed my life for the better.
If you're thinking about, or in the process of changing careers, please just reach out! Let's chat! I might be able to share my experience with you or teach you a thing or two.
About the Author
Hey, I'm Edo. I'm a Software Engineer and Team Lead at Flexiana
I'm helping people to change careers to software engineering, and growing human beings at wecraftcode.org.
You're very, very welcome! Let's chat! ❤️