Careers gap. The American workers are being urged
Careers as Lifelong LearningWith the decline and/or transformation of firms that have been the ultimate providers of security to employees, such as IBM, GM, Boeing and Lloyd’s of London, the career path of a series of upward moves based on a long term relationship suddenly seems passe’. For this chapter let us think of the career in terms of the development of a person’s skills, capacities to learn and self-identity.
I What has happened to careers?Downsizing, restructuring, outsourcing of American jobs to foreign countries, higher job demands and reductions in heath and pension benefits have taken its toll on the corporate career for the last decade and a half. Let’s take a look at job loss totals for early 80’s and 90’s:1980’s 3.4 million from Fortune 500 companies1986 – 1991 80% of 400 employers downsized to a workforce of 12.
4%avg.Reason for such losses? Economic recession, global competition and U.S. deindustrailization, along with companies force workers to do more for less, which also ushered in the birth of the two-income family. With the loss of trust and less benefits, most Americans believe executives are only interested in power and money.II Future Trends: Will career prospects brighten?The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the US workforce has in the past rapidly increased in the 70’s and 80’s due to the baby boomers entering into the workforce.
But they also projected a not so high increase for the 90’s due to a lot of boomers leaving the workforce.1970’s – 19% increase1980’s – 29% increase1990 projected 13% increaseThe U.S.
firms are moving from brawn to brain jobs, which there will be an apparent skill gap. The American workers are being urged to go back to school for higher education and return as a more valued employee. With high-skilled professionals leaving the blue-collar career, a lot of companies are conducting learning centers.III New environmental conditionsThink of the traditional career as a dinosaur (one career for life).
Like the dinosaurs, the traditional career is dying off due to the change in earth’s climate.IV Requirements for adaptabilityThirty years ago, specialists found a mismatch between environment and job design. They found that tightly structured, autocratic organizations were effective in a simple stable environment. But if the environment changed rapidly or if a complex task was to arise, that type of structure could not handle it. The company needed to be more decentralized to keep up.Companies naturally adapted to a changing environment, how?1.
Differentiated their structure2.Enriching the response capabilityV The adaptive organizationIn the 1990’s companies are starting to be known as boundary less organizations, that is continually being self-designed around new markets, tasks and situations.VI The protean careerTo understand what the protean career means to be proactive in your career.
Let’s consider what people will have to do in the future to have a protean career:1.Cyclical-involved2.Higher education3.
More short term training4.Illusions of promotionsVII Flexible career development practicesFirst lets understand that companies should not do your career planning, instead they should expose you to a variety of challenging work assignments, developing both your short-term and long-term performance-related-skills. Business should be empowering employees the freedom to seek work opportunities within the company.