Navigating Today's World of Work

The workforce as it exists today is crowded, varied, and unevenly talented. No characteristic of today’s workforce is more important than this: It is multi-generational. No characteristic is more challenging. And little in the training, practice, or world view of company or agency HR managers, corporate officers, or entrepreneurs running their own ventures has prepared them for the challenge of recruiting and managing talent from so many and so different generations. Yet meeting this challenge and being successful at attracting and retaining needed talent are critical to an organization's current and future success.

The overriding mission for entrepreneurs, talent managers, and HR managers is bringing into the organization Employable Talent who have the skills and awareness to succeed today and gain the trust and respect of others in tomorrow’s ever-changing environment. While organizations do not need to take responsibility for anyone’s long-term employment or career trajectory, they can help key staff exercise their talents in the short term and stay employable for the long term.

The corporate ladder of yesteryears served as a way to grow talent over time and offered places to warehouse the hires who proved unable to grow into higher level positions. Since the 1990s, this age-old structure has steadily yielded to one less populous and flatter—one with lateral rather than vertical paths.

Corporate Lattice Pathway

This new reality of flatter organizations implies a shared contract. No longer does an employer owe an employee a job in exchange for hard work and loyalty. No longer are employees entitled to jobs simply because they have done nothing to lose them. Employers are obligated to help employees maintain viability in the workplace as long as the relationship is mutually fruitful. To create a win/win situation, employer and employee must share the responsibility for maintaining employability. 

The world has changed, and the game has changed, yet nobody has created a new "instruction book" for the millions who have found themselves out of work and with little-to-no prospect of finding similar new employment.

That is where The Four Pillars of Employable Talent and Building Block Essentials come in. These two newly revised books give insight into both halves of the employment equation:

  1. The CEO/Talent Leaders: How the recruiting game has changed and how to successfully hire and retain top talent.
  2. The Employee/Job Seekers: What employers are looking for and how you should present yourself to them.

The first half of managing your career today is to understand the new landscape of employment and what companies are looking for. That is a new way of defining talent and what attributes organizations are seeking. It is looking at and competing in an environment where the new norm is more people than positions. All of these are covered in Four Pillars. The goal of the book is to equip job seekers with the understanding of the competition and the key attributes that employers are seeking. Employers know that they are hiring today for tomorrow's business needs which are not yet defined. But they need a knowledgeable and flexible workforce to adapt and thrive.

Do you own the Four Pillars (Balance, Resilience, Career Strategic Planning, and Active Financial Planning) to navigate the future work landscape? Those that do will be able to thrive in this new environment.

Building Block Essentials provides the 14 steps you must go through before you start the search for your next opportunity. Those who are best prepared will demonstrate to potential employers that they understand the Four Pillars and are prepared to add value to an organization that must successfully navigate an uncertain and unpredictable future. One must demonstrate they are truly versatile, willing and able to make an immediate and long-term contribution.

As we re-learn how to manage our lifetime career goals and objectives, are we treating unplanned career transition and outplacement support as an event? Are we developing a new life skill of coping with an ever-changing environment of current and future employment? If we treat it as just a short-term event, we will continuously find ourselves left behind.

It is important to focus on the new life skill of your personal Career and Employment Management to remain a sought-after talent contributor. You and your career counselor can accomplish this goal only if you are willing to rethink and reframe what you learned earlier and understand the new paradigm of today's career management. 



Dr. David Miles is Chairman of the Miles LeHane Companies, Inc. He is a member of the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD), a member and founding chapter President of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the Association of Career Professionals (ACP) and a Charter Fellow of the Institute of Career Certification International (ICC International), as the largest global non-profit certification Institute.  Author of The Four Pillars of Employable Talent and Building Block Essentials.  Follow David on Twitter @David_C_Miles

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