In the near future, specialists will either work in several places at the same time or change their profession frequently, and employers will have to adapt their employment strategy to changing expectations.
Observations of the labor market show that in the future the choice of profession and place of employment will be made in a different way than before. As part of our professional career, we will resign from work several times and consciously decide to take longer breaks in employment. Another likely direction will be multi-directional in professional life, i.e. matching the nature of the work to individual interests and current needs and situations on the labor market. The traditional understanding of working life as three phases – study, work and retirement – will no longer apply. This can be a big challenge for companies.
Instead of showing the direction of development, employers will have to assume the role of advisor supporting employees in building a rich portfolio of professional experiences. Employees will increasingly care not so much about the possibility of promotion at the place of employment, but about performing tasks that are consistent with their interests and predispositions – says Agnieszka Kolenda, director at Hays Poland. It will be more important to be able to decide when and how long we want to work. Employees will take risks and experiment, and employers will have no choice but to individually consider their needs – he adds.
A career in several directions
Several career paths developed over the course of a lifetime are already not surprising as even very experienced professionals are more likely to consider changing their profession or specialization area. They also note that staying with one employer for many years, in a position that does not require further development, is risky in the face of the changing labor market. There are many indications that the openness to changes in professional life will grow with the passage of time, and the current profession or the nature of the position held will be adjusted to the current aspirations and life circumstances.
The need to adapt to changing trends is a challenge for both employees and companies. For employees, the greatest risk comes from the progressive technological development, as a result of which traditional professions will begin to disappear from the market. In turn, for employers multi-stage careers will be simultaneously considered in the category of opportunities and threats. Many organizations have already experienced the effects of a candidate’s withdrawal from the concept of work for life. This translates into changes in the recruitment process and the need to adapt the employment strategy to the current expectations of professionals who see the change as an opportunity for development.
Flexible work again
The evolution of the way work is perceived has significantly increased the popularity of extra jobs. It is more and more common that additional orders are a way to develop a passion or develop skills related to another professional area. Employees look for a solution in their professional life that will enable them to reconcile their paid work with more or fewer business projects. This is an important signal for more conservative employers who have still not made attempts to adapt their employment policy to the changing needs of employees.
Many contracts between the company and an employee contain clauses that exclude or limit the possibility of doing additional business during the employment period. The change in the perception of career will most likely force employers to make some concessions in this regard. Companies will have to give their employees more independence, otherwise, they will risk losing their talents, comments Agnieszka Kolenda. However, this does not mean that organizations should simply accept the fact that those hired during working hours carry out additional assignments. Employees should perform tasks for which their employer pays them. However, if their results are good, the company should be flexible and offer solutions that will enable them to run additional activities – he adds.
The master’s eye makes the horse fat
However, it should be remembered that organizations that give employees more freedom to accept additional assignments must also take care to protect their interests. As the research of Henley Business School, quoted in the Hays Journal 16, shows, currently 49% of companies do not have procedures regulating the issue of additional earning activities undertaken by employees. However, formal procedures may prove necessary in a situation where a significant percentage of employees work flexibly – at variable hours or remotely. Then it becomes necessary to implement rules that regulate issues such as the use of company equipment, resources, and data to carry out additional orders. Employers should also pay attention to whether the attitude of one employee does not affect team performance and morale.
Implementing the principles of design thinking and problem-solving in your company can seem difficult. It seems obvious that organizations will have to adapt their employment strategy to the changing expectations of employees and new solutions in the labor market. Forecasts predict that concepts related to the traditional understanding of employment, such as parental leave or retirement, will be supplemented with new solutions over time. Internships for mature workers, procedures enabling the return to the labor market of experts who consciously quit their jobs for a while, or the possibility of remote work for people caring for elderly parents will become commonplace.
A multi-stage, diverse career will become a standard in the near future, which should be taken into account by organizations, legislators and representatives of education in their activities. Along with changes in private life, expectations towards work will also change. Instead of following one coherent development path, professionals will build a career based on numerous stages, based on a variety of skills and tools. If organizations do not respond to this trend, they will not prepare for the demands of the labor market of the future.