Learn how significant generational shifts, advances in technology, and constant change to a business's competitive landscape have left the modern workforce without clear direction on what the future of their career looks like.
- We're living in a world that continues to change at an unprecedented pace. It's easy to see how technology shifts alone have us operating in new and different ways. For example, every few months, I volunteer to cook a gourmet meal for friends. One night, I decided to take on the challenge of making pasta the way my grandmother did, with no machinery. Halfway through, I realized that I didn't have a rolling pin which is an essential part of the process. While I started to panic, one of my guests placed an online order for a rolling pin to be delivered within an hour.
Just a few years ago, this amazing service didn't exist. Rapid innovation is disrupting our lives both positively like the example I just shared and negatively and it's not just impacting our personal lives. The pace of change is also impacting the way we work. To better understand this, let's take a look at a few shifts that are impacting the workplace and will continue to change how we navigate our careers. The first is a big generational shift.
The workplace is getting younger. By the year 2025, it's predicted that 75% of the global workforce will be made up of millennials, those who are in their 20s and early 30s today. Organizations are struggling to find that magic formula to retain a new generation of workforce as the Gallup organization reports that only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged at work. The second shift has to do with speed and agility.
To keep up with the pace of change, many companies have focused on speeding up decision making so they can execute more quickly. This means that organizational structures are becoming flatter which translates into less layers of management. This has left managers with more direct reports. The third shift that continues to impact the way we work is the increase of virtual teams. As technology has enabled the world to become more connected, we no longer all have to be working in the same place at the same time.
In fact, it's estimated that 43% of us now work remotely in some capacity. What impacts have these shifts had on how you work or your career? Some of the impacts I see most often are having to manage more direct reports or take on more work but without a promotion, frequently switching teams and perhaps reporting to multiple managers. Along those lines, not getting consistent feedback and coaching.
And the one I hear most often especially from those newer to the workforce is not seeing a clear career path. The organizations we work for understand that in order to survive, they have to continuously adapt to their environment. Sometimes, these changes aren't clear and create ambiguity. This is especially true when it comes to navigating your career. If you're experiencing any of these types of impacts, you're not alone. As I work with companies and one on one with employees, I've seen a sharp increase of these challenges and it only seems to be getting more difficult.
There is a silver lining though. Although the time of defined career ladders is quickly fading, there are new career opportunities that didn't exist in the past. They can sometimes be more difficult to see but if you know what to look for, they present exciting opportunities for your career.
- How the workplace has changed
- Creating a career vision
- Creating short- and long-term goals
- Mobilizing: Identifying resources, mentors, and your online brand