This Week's Herman Trend Alert

HR in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

August 22, 2001

New Career Directions

Laid off employees may not return to the kind of work they did in their last job. An astonishing number of employees is engaged in work that is no longer enjoyable. People are working in occupations where they are not happy, but do not have the courage to leave. That is, they did not have the courage to leave before their employers made departure a necessity through layoffs.

These workers have now broken free of their bonds and are actively considering alternative careers. They don't want to go back to the same jobs they really didn't like before, but didn't know what else to do. Now they have an opportunity to explore other careers. They will eagerly gain new skills in schools and through corporate training programs. Money is not as important to them as finding satisfying, stimulating, rewarding work.

When people graduate from school, whether it is high school or college, they begin a journey on a chosen career path. In the past, they usually stayed on the same path where their career journey began in their youth. Today there is a greater chance that workers will start off in one direction, then change to a different career, as they change jobs. We are on the threshold of a new era where the norm will be to even change careers several times during a working lifetime, perhaps as many as five to seven times.

In the future, more emphasis will be placed on a worker's competencies, skills, talents, and interests. Those capabilities can be applied in a number of fields, in a wide range of jobs. With the abundance of job opportunities that will be available to workers, people will have the freedom to choose what kind of work they want to do as they utilize their talents. Employers will become more sensitive to "what can you do for me," rather than "what have you done for your employers."

The dazzle of alternatives and the societal permission to frequently change jobs will give workers tempting opportunities to explore, to experiment with different positions to find work they like.

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