It’s no longer good enough to learn how to do something once, at the beginning of your career and expect that skill set to carry you through to retirement. The world is evolving too rapidly to make the set-it and forget-it career strategy viable.
End Of Men
The new winners are those that can adapt to the realities of today and tomorrow the fastest. Recent history clearly shows that women are adapting better than men. This was described by Hanna Rosin in ”End Of Men“, which you can view below.
“Men are the new ball and chain“
Women are outperforming men on several economic fronts. They make up the majority of the workforce, and occupy 50% of managerial positions. Three out of five college graduates are women. In the 15 fastest growing professions, 13 are dominated by women, and they are well represented in professional fields such as medicine, law, accounting, etc.
The long-term phenomenon of middle-economy jobs disappearing and being replaced by information, service, and creative careers has benefited women. Where no heavy lifting is required and the emphasis is on networking, managing, and cultivating creative teams, women thrive. This is exactly what our modern economy is calling for.
Adaptive Man: Oxymoron
It’s difficult to be confronted with the decline of your gender and not wonder if you have committed economic castration by your career choices. How has this happened to men? Surely we can adapt and overcome , now that we are aware of this fundamental power shift?
I feel like I am on the front lines of this estrogen tsunami. My partner is a career military officer, so upon our marriage and decision to have children, I volunteered to be the at-home-carer as I could freely resign, whereas my wife had only 6 weeks maternity leave. It was the logical choice for us. Sure, we could have used childcare and both remained in full-time employment, but we didn’t want to outsource the care of our children.
In the ten years since the birth of our first child, we have had two more children. A little panicked a few years ago about my future career prospects, being out of the workforce loop for so long. I started a master’s degree in financial planning and graduated last May. On paper I am highly educated, but the reality is that I have not had a professional job for a decade.
During this time my wife has continued her career, building professional networks, earned two master’s degrees, and is working on a third. I’ve been leapfrogged! Despite my best efforts to adapt and stay competitive, the reality is that my wife is the economic powerhouse in our family.
Acknowledge And Move-On
It has not been easy for me being a stay-at-home Dad. I did have some economic power and a promising finance career when I chose the path less-travelled. Like most guys, my identity was all wrapped-up in what I did. Societal factors have been a barrier to developing a strong support network.
Now, I openly describe us as a Navy family. We are a team. My wife makes the money, but I’m a critical part of that. As long as the family is moving forward, I am ok with my wife making more money than I do.
This is difficult for many people to comprehend and deal with; it’s simply too different from their model of what reality should be. If the trends outlined above by Hanna Rosin continue to develop, chances are that my reality will become the standard.
I have many friends and neighbors that reflect the “end of men” thesis: women out-earning and out-educating men, and women being the entrepreneurs.
What’s Your Reality?
Are women leading the way financially in your household, and how do you feel about this?