Do careers still exist? Can Career Development and Innovation link together as strategies? Are careers easier to plan or harder than ever?
What can people actively planning their career learn from the best in the world of innovation?
Over the last 20 years, we have seen seismic shifts in the workplace. The past, present and future of work are very different environments. Success in one era will not lead to success in another.
So what has changed in the world of work?
It helps to get some context to help us plan appropriately. Broadly speaking 30 years ago over 80% of the working population worked in employes that employed over 1000 people. Most entry jobs had some form of structured training attached. Many offered day-release college based education. Most of us had between 8 and 12 people between us and the boss of the company. The majority of people did not have higher academic qualifications entering the workplace. Most people had a part-time job whilst at school. It was expected that in the average career we would change employer 2 or 3 times. It was expected that most people would stay broadly in their sector or career. A promotion was the expected career progression route.
It used to be 80% of employees worked in large firms, now that’s reversed – the implications for career development and career expectations are huge
Now things are different.
80% of the working population is employed in a business employing less than 50 people. The distance between the new starter and the boss of a business is less than 6 people. More people have higher qualifications before entering the world of work. Many have no experience of work before leaving full-time education. The reality now is that most people change careers every 10 years. They change jobs much more frequently. Promotion for many is no longer a sensible career option. Organisations are too flat.
In career planning terms we need to stop-start change the way we look for our next steps
What can we learn from the world of innovation?
We all need to change our career plans. Promotion is no longer the key driver of change for career direction. In the world of innovation is a behavioural model called The Creatrix. It is based on 2 key behaviours:
How does this fit in with career planning and career development?
When we dive down into the model further, the authors of this give us some useful labels to work with.
Improver – Low levels of new ideas and average propensity to take action (risk) – most employees! That is we often wait for change (career opportunities) so more often or not we are driven by the market and what is comfortable.
The great thing about this model is that we are not limited by personality. This is about attitudes and behaviours. Things we can change.
Let us look at the Career Development and Innovation landscape
So imagine this. We create ideas of future roles and jobs. We take action to identify where those options are or might be. Suddenly our career options change overnight.
Here are some of the weaknesses – some of us may DREAM of future roles or jobs but take no action!
There are some people that make lots of PLANS (PLANNER) but do not take the appropriate action to implement.
Some of us are in SUSTAIN mode. We accept the job and the terms we have.
The IMPROVERS will take a promotion if offered or if the grass is greener on the other side will change employers. But it is small incremental changes.
Our goal is to get to what this model calls “innovator” and what I like to call “Career planner” in this content. We have an idea (creativity) and we take action to apply that change. The change is not incremental by most peoples standards, but a real dramatic shift., often a courageous move.
This means we need to do a few things in-between.
Not only must we have the idea, but we need to take self-development action to persuade the world that we can make the move. Most people are programmed to believe in small promotions and moves (the old ways of doing things). But the world has changed, For the brave, it’s about being innovative in the career space. Seeing jobs that might not yet exist, but preparing ourselves read for them.
what are your thoughts about Career Development and Innovation linked together in this way?