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How the world of work is changing

The world of working is changing constantly, with new careers and interesting opportunities becoming available. We are experiencing big trends and research indicates three important things we want as part of a better job.

More than a decade ago I was part of a think tank group that got together in various workshops to think and design tomorrow’s organisation.  Looking back, I am surprised how little has changed in some ways, though with technology we are seeing virtual working becoming more of a reality, though many jobs still require a person serving a customer.

One of the big trends driving the world are the demographic shifts that is taking place. Not only have we seen significant outsourcing of jobs in the last decade, but also a shift in where and how work is performed.

There is also a much higher degree of diversity – as result of a more global perspective on work, with people moving around and living in many countries during their working life. In my own case, I am now living in my third country.

We are experiencing diversity in gender, ethnicity and generational perspectives, making our organisations more complex and the role of managers more important, as they are not only dealing with more demanding customers, but also with more demanding employees.

Research are indicating that the top three things that young people as new job seekers are looking for, tend to be very similar as for most employees:

(a)  Learning and growth opportunities

Employees want to work in challenging and rewarding jobs. Jobs need to be designed to encourage personal growth, with an annual learning plan for career development. Employees don’t necessarily want to climb a career ladder, but want to move into various and different roles,

(b)  Being part of a trusting organisation that offers a career path

Companies need to provide context and meaning to employees, by sharing with them sufficient information on how they fit in with the strategies of the business. Employee engagement is being part of a great place to work.

(c)  Having flexibility in their lives

People want more control over their lives. The standard way of designing a 40 hour five day a week job is changing. Employees want the flexibility to work in two different jobs, or to only work a certain number of hours.

How we work and communicate is different from a decade ago, particularly as we engage through social media. All of these trends also have an impact on the industries and career options you are considering, as you steer your career to a better job.

Travel safely!

Charles van Heerden

Expert
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Charles is an HR careers expert with a strong focus on talent management. He has been an HR Director in three countries, a senior line manager and a consultant. Charles holds a degree in Psychology and has completed advanced studies in HR and change management.

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