Hybrid Careers: Gaining Momentum in the Workplace

As I sit reflecting on the year gone by, I find myself longing for refreshing news to ponder as we embark on 2010; something novel to contemplate, a fresh outlook to consider, a new topic to follow. Sifting through the latest business and economic news stories there are glimmers of relief with regard to economic indices and unemployment projections. While I’m inspired by the uptick, these are essentially the same stories we have been reading about for the past couple of months. Then I came across a little series of articles written about hybrid careers. While this topic may not spark the fires in the imagination of the average person, it did capture my attention as a recruiter and HR professional.

By definition, hybrid is the combination of two or more different things. When thinking about careers we usually refer to being on a track where you start at one end and follow it to completion or perhaps jump onto another single, distinct track and follow that to completion. Image the unlimited possibilities if you pursued two careers at the same time. We have seen a movement over the past couple of years where individuals are able to combine their interests into a single occupation. Take a nursing or pharmacy degree, for example, and combine it with knowledge or a passion for IT and you could work as a consultant for an operating room information systems project. While most people are becoming accustomed to this idea, the notion of pursuing a 40-hour “full-time” career with a single employer is still prevalent.

The new trend emerging is changing perceptions by taking hybridization a step further. Do you need to spend 40 hours with the same employer, in the same industry, or could you divide your time between multiple part-time careers to create meaningful work that transcends the typical full-time routine? The day or week may be divided into two distinctive career paths that permit individuals to pursue their passions and interests in an unorthodox way. One article described a Financial Planner who worked part-time as an affiliate of a large financial network while also pursuing a career as a Color Consultant. Another describes a Dentist who runs his own private practice while teaching part-time at a local college to satisfy his passion for being an educator. The possibilities are endless.

While the concept is exciting, employers will face new challenges with regard to attracting, retaining, and engaging this type of employee. As hybrid careers gain momentum throughout 2010 and beyond it will be fascinating to watch the workplace continue to evolve and to help employers navigate through these new waters.

Are you currently working a hybrid career?

Resourceful HR would like to interview you for an upcoming blog post we are working on with more details about this new trend. Please leave your comments and contact information below if you would like to participate.

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As a recruiter, I’m exposed to new opportunities and information on a daily basis. I thrive on learning about new industries, new technology, new positions—and then using what I’ve learned to help make a great candidate-company match.