There was once a time when American office workers could rely upon predictable career paths, excellent employment benefits, and company-backed pensions. Unfortunately, with rapid changes in technology, transportation, and consumer trends, these mainstays have become antiquated. Gone are the days of working your way up from the mailroom and retiring with a generous pension. Workers nowadays are continually in competition, both with one another and with automation. Jobs that are in high demand today may become obsolete in a few years’ time, and professionals in every sector are always searching for new employment opportunities should their position be eliminated. Because of these rapid changes, career development is no longer a linear process.
Career Paths vs. Career Experiences
Working for the same company until retirement is uncommon in the U.S. today, and workers with ambition and career goals often face unexpected obstacles and significant industry changes that make those goals unachievable. Because of the unpredictable nature of modern employment, many professionals are eschewing traditional career paths for something new: a career development strategy that focuses on experiences. Rather than working toward a specific position at one company, workers view jobs as opportunities for experience, networking, and learning that they can leverage for new positions.
Using Experiences as a Tool for Career Development
For many employees, particularly those at the start of their careers, the focus is on expanding their knowledge and making themselves more desirable candidates for whatever opportunities may arise. Professionals who value experiences may prioritize collaborating on projects, taking professional development courses, and taking on additional responsibilities at work to enhance career development. This shift in focus from employees’ end goals to their continued growth and evolution has allowed workers to take each experience, whether positive or negative, as an opportunity for growth. This approach lessens the blow when dream jobs become obsolete or potential employers downsize, restructure, or fold.
Appealing to Employees’ Needs for Practical Learning
While embracing an experience-focused career development strategy is helpful for workers, it is also incredibly beneficial for employers. Businesses can appeal to motivated job candidates and staff members by offering training courses, mentorship programs, and career development resources. Creating a culture of on-the-job learning and encouraging employees to seek new projects can motivate your team to learn new skills and improve its performance. Additionally, offering abundant opportunities for new career experiences can help keep employees engaged and motivated to stay.
Lewis-Price is an SBA 8(a) certified staffing company committed to providing solutions to its clients and teaming partners. We staff diverse, engaged leaders in IT, cybersecurity, program management, training, administration and other high-demand areas. We value integrity and intention. We provide engaged professionals ready to join your team. To learn more about our staffing solutions, please contact us at (703) 727-9182. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.