In today’s competitive recruitment climate, it is becoming increasingly difficult for organizations to retain their best talent in a lifetime career with them. This restructuring and merging of organizations have provided employees with a golden opportunity to make changes in their career goals and achieve them.
Nowadays, organizations have ceased seeing themselves as a one-stop solution provider to their employees. They have evolved into a business house that provides learning opportunities to motivated people which makes them more marketable.
These careers have been termed as Protean Careers because the candidates are now seen to change their career from time to time to fit their personal needs. The major characteristics of these protean careers are Portable Skills, Multi-Cultural Working Experience, Learning on the Job, and Constant Networking. Protean Careers consider the interpersonal learning and changes in an organizational structure as the main factors for a career change.
Gradually, people have slowly gravitated towards a more personal approach when it comes to career building. This needs usage of subjective fields such as Designation, Salary and Longevity. These factors entered the professional life for the need of a better work-life balance in the lives of the employees. They now desire greater balance in their professional lives and want it to serve their personal needs. They have understood the value of spending time with their families.
Today, the careers of employees are changing due to many individual and environmental parameters. Differing attitudes and career goals are the main reasons of career changes. For example, a person who is highly creative will always seek to develop his personal skills, so they will be more inclined to look for cross-functional career options.
Similarly, people who are motivated by power and achievement will look forward to getting hierarchical promotions. This was a dominant model of career growth till recent years. But now, the changes in the external business environment have triggered the changes in the internal working structure of the organizations as well.
This is the reason people are no longer exhibiting linear career changes that were observed with a stable and highly-structured working environment, but more organic and adaptive, spiral career patterns.
What Industry Experts Say?
Industry experts like Allred, Snow, and Miles have long observed and mentioned the link between individual growth and career changes. They say that organizations have now started opting for a more network-oriented way of working, as compared to the silo-like functioning of individual departments earlier.
This is the result of a greater need to have a strong connection between different departments to coordinate tasks better and meet the intense pressure of global business competition.
These scholars emphatically stress that the skill-set that a person needs to be successful in his career depends on the organization’s structure. If the organizational structure promotes venturing into new markets, then he will certainly find success in learning new things.
Organizations expect their employees to possess the technical skills needed to compete with the rest of the competition. But at the same time, the changes that have come in today’s workforce don’t allow the employees to be satisfied with just possessing technical skills. Those employees who possess strong interpersonal skills and have a collaborative mindset will be able to survive in an increasingly inter-departmental style of working.
While technical skills maybe sufficient in a functionally structured organization, those who are to succeed in tomorrow’s cellular firms must have the competency in Commercial, Collaborative, and Self-Governance skills as well. Career planners are flexible in adapting the new working models in organizations, so that they can learn from different platforms and bring in an overall career improvement.
The idea of pursuing personal growth while working for organizational growth are not fundamentally at odds with one another. They are completely consistent and can be pursued together. Earlier, employers used to feel insecure if their employees start learning new things because that used to make them apprehensive that the person might quit. But in today’s business scenario, companies endorse that their employees keep working on new skills and be prepared to face any sudden change. This has brought a lot of difference in the way people manage their careers nowadays.
Earlier, they used to be happy trying to develop their capacities in a particular skill area, but now they have started going for a more peripheral growth structure which encompasses also those skills that complement their primary skill.