How the Work Box has Changed Over Time

TLDR Summary

There are two Work Box model flavors, the Classic and the Modern.

How the Work Box Used to Work

Classically everyone followed the same Work Box model. It goes something like this: study a specific Work Box in school, enter that specific Work Box for career, and leave that specific Work Box for the Retirement Box sometime in your 60s and start working on your golf game. So simple!

Classical Work Box Model

Let's call this old school model something, how about the Classical Work Box Model?

How the Work Box Works Today

Study a specific Work Box in school, enter an entirely different Work Box (probably in the service industry), jump to a different Work Box when you finally find one that resembles something more respectable than Chili's but still completely unrelated to the one you studied in school, stay for 1-2 years and jump into another Work Box that seems even more respectable than the one you're in, rinse and repeat the last step a few more times until you find a "career" that sticks or until you get fed up with it all and go back to real estate school because that doesn't sound that hard and you like house hunting so hey, why not? Phew, it always feels good to spout off at the fingertips with a good old run-on sentence.

The trend of employees job jumping more often continues. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released Sept. 22, 2016 that the median time that wage and salary workers had been with their current employer is 4.2 years, down from 4.6 years in 20141.

On the one hand this new model sounds stressful and anxiety ridden, but on the other it has opened up a world of possibilities.

Modern Work Box Model

Let's call this new school model the Modern Work Box Model.

In case you're confused, here's a chart of the number of Work Box models over time.

Work Box Models vs Time

The Choice is Yours

In reality both the Classical and Modern models still exist today. Choosing one over the other greatly depends on the type of person you are and the type of life you'd like to live. I consider us fortunate to have two Work Box models to choose from, and luckily neither one has to be a life-long commitment. Movement between the two is certainly possible.

Two Models, Both Traveled By

Both the Classical Work Box model and the Modern Work Box model are valid choices when deciding what you want your Work Box to look like.

If you're 18 and haven't started yet it's worth spending some time thinking about it, talking to those who've come before you, and consciously deciding which model to pursue.

If you've already got a functioning career and you're happy in your current Work Box model then "heck yeah" to ya, you're doing something right. If not, don't stress, it's probably not as hard as you think to make some changes.

Which model is your current career path in? Do you like it that way or want it to change? Share your story with me directly at rick @ theboxesoflife dot com or with the world in the comments below.

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