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Mar 04

Face It: Career Jumps Are The Future Of Work – Forbes

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Here’s the big talent paradox: great minds rarely stay put. They’re seekers, refusing to rest on their laurels, leaving comfort behind for something better, faster, bigger. A lot of factors go into what we view as top talent, the best recruits, the bright stars. They have an innate tendency to abhor complacency; and they are sparked by the need to drive towards new goals, and seek new goals to drive towards. In other words, they tend to look for career jumps.

But when you’re trying to retain a workforce you’ve invested a lot of tech, time, manpower and money in, the sudden departure of your top new recruit can be a shock to the system. It’s time to embrace the hotfooted nature of talent, and work with it to keep it from racing out the door.

Today’s workforce has a number of stress points, but two factors come up again and again:

1. A “Hot To Trot” Culture

I’m wearing my “I’m just the messenger cap,” but millennials are partially to blame for a palpable shift in the work culture. Millennials now comprise the largest portion of the U.S . workforce — 53.5 million as of the first quarter of 2015 (Gen X is 52.9 million and declining, by contrast). According to Deloitte’s Millennial Survey 2016, millennials really do have one foot out the door: 44% said that, if given the choice, they would like to leave their current employers in the next two years.

The numbers quell objections that we’re just stereotyping the a generation again. First: these aren’t kids – some of them are taking on senior manager roles already. Second, the survey included a robust sampling: 7,700 people from 29 countries. That’s no query lite turned into a universal statement. It also represents the flip side of a generation that considers the ability to align with employer mission and values far more important than an option. The alignment with an employer brand is going to wane at some point, inevitably: we grow, we change, and it’s just not that special or interesting anymore.

2. A Changing Mindset

Millennials are not the only influence here: there’s an inherent skittishness in the workforce across all generations, from Boomers to Gen Z. Credit a number of factors, including the crash in the economy just a few years back, in which tidal waves of layoffs suddenly brought the fallacy of stability unpleasantly home. But another key factor is the profoundly global, hyper-connected, 24/7 work society, which alters everyone’s horizon line.

It’s not just a matter of occasionally pondering the prospect of greener grass: there is always greener grass — it’s everywhere, from the social networks we frequent to the influencers we follow. For Boomers, it may also be the shock of the new: once linked in, it’s a revelation even to the most entrenched.

Research shows that employee retention is a fickle beast, hinging on factors far more complex than compensation. According to Gallup, 44% of employees say they would consider taking a job with a different company for a raise of 20% or less. More than half (55%) of managers and employees are constantly on the lookout or actively exploring other job opportunities. And more than half of employees (51%) are considering a new job.

Career Mobility Should Be Seen As A Given

Pressed for an honest answer, most of us, from entry level to C-Suite, don’t think it’s a bad thing to move forward in our own careers. What we want to see in the mirror is a person with the prospect of thriving, and in this work culture, that means advancement — which often means mobility.

The desire to keep swimming is a health facet of self-confidence — which in turn is fostered in a work culture that hits all the right marks as far as engagement. And it’s also an expression of passion, which we all want in our employees, our colleagues and our friends.

It was passion, writes, Mike Lewis, founder of When to Jump, that booted him out of a corporate job. In other words, it wasn’t a negative that made him leave, it was an abundance of positives. Lewis’ site includes profiles of a lot of other jumpers, making it clear: jumping is part of the entrepreneurial spirit. So “we” really can’t knock it.  I’m a classic entrepreneur personality so you won’t find me knocking it, that’s for sure.

Yes, we’re facing a functional paradox. But our entire economic system is based on ambition. And ambition, as we know, cuts both ways. The key for tackling it going forward is to not try to outmaneuver it. Instead, it’s going to be offering far more opportunities to express ambition within the context of the same organization; to change the status quo. Offer tangible ways to advance, grow, move into different areas, and gain expertise; match the shiny prospects waiting to grab our top talent. Flip the script: make loyalty a facet of the employer to the employee, and then you’re going to see retention start to climb.

Source: Face It: Career Jumps Are The Future Of Work – Forbes

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