A Lifestyle Career is most apparent at present in Generation X although is certainly visible in the other generational groups. Barnaby works 3 days a week for a local authority and spends 2 days a week bringing up his 2 young children. Pam, his wife, works 3 days a week for an international oil company and spends 2 days a week looking after their children. On one day a week only the children go to a child minder. Barnaby and Pam are both clear that “you only get one chance to bring up and enjoy your kids and we are not going to miss out on that”. Consequently, any major career progression or job changing will be put on hold until the children are both at school. They will then review where they are and maybe make some career changes at that point. Barnaby is more likely to move on, as at heart he is actually a serial careerist. Pam is more likely to seek advancement in the company, as at heart she is a single-track careerist. What we are finding is that the work – family dimension is not the only factor promoting this work style. Some people wish to travel, do voluntary work abroad, return to being a student. In later years the work – family dimension may appear again with older relatives who need to be cared for. The latest statistics that we have show that the average woman now spends more time caring for one or both parents than she did bringing up her children.
Pluses? The opportunity to combine a range of paid and unpaid work that is important to you. Paid work does not dominate your life. You have a more balanced style of life. You can always shift into a different career pattern if your lifestyle changes.
Minuses? Career advancement is likely to suffer. Promotion can be seen as a headache rather than an opportunity. Financially there may be a price to pay, as even today it is not always possible to get a part time job with the level of flexibility that is required.