When one is changing their occupation, they take different jobs irrespective of the location. The need to change a job is prompted by the entry of a new generation in the labor market and a shift in operational changes in different sectors of the economy.
What Is Occupational Mobility?
Occupational mobility is the willingness and ability of an employee to change from their current job to a new job. There are two types of occupational mobility, these being internal occupational mobility and external occupational mobility.
Under internal occupational mobility, an employee changes their position in the current place of work. Under external occupational mobility, an employee is willing and able to secure a different job in a different sector or a different place of employment.
Benefits of Occupational Mobility
1. Saves one from unemployment
Securing a new job is not a problem when one is occupationally mobile. For instance, a person with a main job and a side hustle. If such a person loses their job, they can quickly switch to their side hustle as the main job. Thus, the status of occupational mobility saves one from structural and cyclical unemployment.
2. Increased job satisfaction
Changing a job whenever one wants is something only guaranteed to some. Some workers do not like their current job but cannot quit. When one has occupational mobility, they do a job because they like it. Motivation is from within; they find such a job effortless in discharging mandated duties. Thus, occupational mobility increases satisfaction with one’s current job(s).
3. Increased productivity
Productivity is a factor of motivation and job satisfaction. Since occupational mobility increases job satisfaction, one tends to be more productive. The internal motivation to keep a job results in increased performance. This improved performance from one employee is what translates to increased productivity of a company. This productivity is at a personal level, an organizational level, and an economic level.
4. Better financial status
If one is willing and able to find a new job, the probability of increasing financial status is high. One can take a job position where they earn the best salary and better employee remunerations.
What Factors Affect Occupational Mobility?
1. Educational training
When one is educated, they have knowledge of different sectors. They can operate within different contexts of job positions. Acquiring vocational training makes one just better. One acquires the technical skills of doing different jobs and different skills for each. Thus, diversity in vocational training makes a person enjoy more occupational mobility than a person with limited or no education and vocational training.
2. Phase of the economic cycle
Economic goes through different phases, but an economic recession and economic expansion are the two major phases in the economic cycle. When the economy is in its expansion phase, job opportunities grow. The demand for workers can sometimes exceed the volume of job seekers. The possibility of getting a desired job is also high. Thus, an economy in its expansion phase favors occupational mobility.
If an economy is in recession, people lose their jobs as businesses close down. In other cases, firms and employers are scaling down on their labor expenditure through layoffs. For a person willing to change jobs, securing a new job in such an economy becomes hard. Thus, an economy in its recession limits occupational mobility.
3. Social forces
The set-up of society is an important factor that significantly dictates occupational mobility. A society where job acquisition depends on family ties limits job mobility. This is because one cannot acquire a job even where they are vacancies if no one refers them. However, if a society is free from such joint family systems, the job market is open and has higher occupational mobility.
4. Intensity of International trade
International trade establishes strategic alliances between different sectors and international partners. People find acquiring new job roles in these international firms easy if they cannot secure such job opportunities locally. High intensity of international trade thus favors occupational mobility. On the other hand, a low intensity of international trade limits occupational mobility.
How to Improve Occupational Mobility
1. Invest in educational and vocational training
Switching from one job to another becomes easy when one is trained in different fields. One has the skills and, most likely, the experience needed. Fitting into a new job role becomes easy, and there is less internal resistance to change. Thus, investing in training at a personal and societal level is a good approach to improving occupational mobility.
2. Increased international alliances
Firms should look for alliances with international players. These help local and international firms create new job opportunities for locals and foreigners. People from different countries where these international partners operate enjoy increased occupational mobility. International partnerships would also create new opportunities for training.
3. Government intervention
The state has a role to play in promoting occupational mobility. These international alliances are facilitated largely by the government. The kind of trade partnership that the state makes with other states dictates the ability of local firms to enter into strategic business alliances with foreign firms. A state should thus create enabling foreign ties with other states. This would increase international partnerships and hence promote occupational mobility.