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Changing Careers an American Tradition

I often remind clients that the average person changes careers 5-7 times in their lifetime. Some think it’s a new phenomenon, but take a look at what de Toqueville observed about Americans in 1831…

Excerpt from Alexis de Toqueville’s “Democracy in America”…

The inhabitants of the United States experience all of the wants and all the desires that result from an advanced civilization; and as they are not surrounded, as in Europe, by a community skillfully organized to satisfy them, they are often obliged to procure for themselves the various articles that education and habit have rendered necessities. In America it sometimes happens that the same person tills his field, builds his own dwelling, fashions his tools, makes his shoes, and weaves the coarse stuff of which his clothes are composed. This is prejudicial to the excellence of the work, but it powerfully contributes to awaken the intelligence of the workman. Nothing tends to materialize man and to deprive his work of the faintest trace of mind more than the extreme division of labor. In a country like America, where men devoted to special occupations are rare, a long apprenticeship cannot be required from anyone who embraces a profession. The Americans therefore change their means of gaining livelihood very readily, and they suit their occupations to the exigencies of the moment. Men are to be met with who have successfully been lawyers, farmers, merchants, ministers of the Gospel, and physicians. If the American is less perfect in each craft than the European, at least there is scarcely any trade with which he is utterly unacquainted. His capacity is more general, and the circle of his intelligence is greater.

(Vol 1, 425)

Comments

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fridah kivuli

inspiring we should learn to be flexible

Muita

American generations has also been heralded for their collective innovations and desire to work for something other than money.

Suzie

thanks for sharing

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