Friday, June 25, 2010

Not Your Grandfather's Career Path

Remember the traditional notion of a career ladder? Traditionally, a person began their career in an entry-level job, then moved into team or local management, then on to regional management, and ended their career in C-Level or executive leadership.

This required an employer-employee agreement. Two-way loyalty that, at most organizations, is outmoded or gone. Very few organizations promise lifetime employment or tenure. Some exceptions include government agencies or very large institutions with multiple layers of management.

So what is the new "normal" career?

* flatter organizations, and a "do more with fewer" reality
* new-hires that expect to work as creative agents for multiple employers within their lifetimes
* outsourcing and contracting as a business norm, not some radical experiment
* working from home or remote locations as part of the experience
* workers that leave if they do not enjoy the experience

The 21st Century career is a series of engagements (jobs) and life experiences that ultimately form a person's specialty or focus, that in turn enable them to move up, over or into any number of life experiences. In short, your emerging leaders want a rewarding experience, not a timecard to punch or a cubicle to occupy every day.

One of our clients asks new hires how they can best engage and get the most from them in a 21st Century work arrangement. They listen, modify, then follow up by letting the employees challenge themselves. And, it works!

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