Mar 08

What Modern Workflow Means For Millennial Career Development – Forbes


The word “workflow” is one of those pieces of corporate jargon that means different things to different people. For my part, I view workflow as the day-to-day responsibilities of any given employee. And in these modern times, daily workflows are looking much different than they did just a generation ago.

Over the average lifetime, a person is expected to hold as many as 15-20 different jobs. This is a relatively new phenomenon, but with plenty of young people still struggling to find work after college, this trend could become even more pronounced in the coming years.

The good news, of course, is that this trend means millennials are, almost by default, prepared for a multi-facetted career, and prepared for positions that demand a well-rounded skillset.

Naturally, you’ll need to work independently to hone some of these new skills, and even add some additional ones to your repertoire. This means that, for many millennials, horizontal skills development, which I’ve written about in the past, could be a valuable asset when it comes time to catch a hiring manager’s attention.

How Can Managers Facilitate Employee Growth?

It would be a mistake to assume that job seekers will automatically become more suited to a wide variety of roles just because the economy is struggling. Yes, young people may be bouncing from one job to the next a little more quickly than their parents’ generation, but that does not mean that America’s employers have no responsibilities of their own.

According to national surveys, 55 percent of employers have trouble filling empty job openings because of a lack of qualified applicants. It might be obvious, but I suspect a big part of the problem comes from the classic job applicant’s Catch-22:

To apply for a job, you need to have a few years of experience. But in order to gain experience, you need to get a job first.

It sometimes seems like employers inadvertently stack the deck against people who have an intense desire to learn new skills, yet haven’t had opportunities to explore that desire.

So what do we do? Part of the struggle for change has already begun: Different types of employers all across the country are pondering dropping minimum experience requirements for new applicants.

But the point is not just to lower the barrier for entry — it’s also to create an environment where driven, ambitious employees can thrive and find fulfilment in their daily lives (their workflows). It won’t just help them; it will help your business, too.

If you’re not offering your employees an opportunity to learn new skills on company time, you’re failing them. I don’t really see any other way to phrase it. Every company should be investing time, money, and resources into the search for better and more well-rounded employees, and that starts with encouraging promotion from within.

Now, that’s not to say that you should hire anyone who walks in the door and try to train them. But when you find a candidate who is driven, smart and passionate about your industry, you might want to seriously consider giving them a chance. Experience is always good, but it’s not always the most important resume section to consider.

Modern Workflow And…Robots?

I thought it might be fun — or terrifying, depending on your point of view — to briefly cover an issue that’s gaining traction in the collective consciousness.

Everyone from Neil DeGrasse Tyson to Steven Hawking is worried that automation will lead to a gradual (or perhaps not so gradual) erosion of the American workforce, culminating in massive unemployment.

I have a slightly different idea about how this might play out, and it has everything to do with what we’ve been covering: Not only that the employee of the future will need to be well-rounded, but that creative ideas will become more and more important. If it’s true that automation will reduce the amount of “grunt work” expected of any given employee, since so much of it can be automated, then it stands to reason that having well-rounded, multiply-talented employees will be more important than ever.

 Millennials may face career trajectories that are different than those of their parents and grandparents, but as tech-savvy and innovative people, they might just be the best equipped to handle the changing demands of the modern job market and its work requirements.

Source: What Modern Workflow Means For Millennial Career Development – Forbes

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