Careers as Lifelong Learning
With 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 passé’. 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 companies
1986 – 1991 80% of 400 employers downsized to a workforce of 12.4%avg.
Reason for such losses? Economic ...view middle of the document...
1970’s – 19% increase
1980’s – 29% increase
1990 projected 13% increase
The 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 conditions
Think 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 adaptability
Thirty 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 structure
2. Enriching the response capability
V The adaptive organization
In 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 career
To 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:
2. Higher education
3. More short term training
4. Illusions of promotions
VII Flexible career development practices
First 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.