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Employer Branding: This is how a career works today
From baby boomers to Gen Z: each generation has their own ideas about careers and the ideal working conditions. Companies have to face these changing demands and break new ground in recruiting and employee retention
The changing world of work not only changes markets and job profiles, but also the understanding of careers. From 16 to 65 in the same job? That was once! Today, career paths can no longer be planned on the drawing board, but they can be shaped. Each generation has different wishes and demands on their optimal work situation. Anyone who wants to remain attractive as a company for younger generations must take the changed career concept into account.
What do careers look like in the future?
Understand most under "make career", symbolically rung by rung up a ladder, they usually differ only between management or specialist career. The future career concept is much more diverse. In the near future, people will complete about five to eight training courses during their lifetime. Hybrid careers are on the rise - partially hired and partly self-employed. The advantages of this mixture are obvious: Due to the employee relationship, people have a certain degree of security in order to be able to realize their dreams in self-employment.
The separation between employees and outsiders dissolves more and more. As companies become ever more agile, it makes sense for both sides to think in roles rather than roles. A project manager or a sales assistant can be quickly rationalized away. A lateral thinker or a "customer mindset", however, is agile and versatile. Here, too, there is a clear trend away from the topic to project responsibility.
1. Mindset and Motivation of Baby Boomers and Generation X: From Growth to Crisis
The development is understandable: many people, diverse careers. Never before have so many different generations been in the labor market at the same time as today. And the pace of change will attract. Although many expectations of employers are similar across generations, each age group has a different focus when it comes to job needs. For example, the nature of the baby boomers (from 1955) is strongly influenced by economic growth and traditional values such as sense of duty and discipline. In this generation diligence, discipline, performance and respect for authorities are strongly represented, but also already the desire for individuality, participative leadership and personal communication created.
The generation X (1960er-1980er) grew under the impression of scarcity, oil crisis and increasing uncertainty in the topic of old-age insurance. It is not without reason that she aspires to professional advancement and material well-being and follows a strong performance motive. Already, however, she has broadened her career concept and wishes for a stronger orientation on her own life planning. Frequently, Gen-X members have experienced the drawbacks of the baby boomers' traditional career understanding.
2. Employer Attractiveness: Gen Y Expects Career Security
Generation Y (1980-2000) is the first time that people on the labor market have experienced the technological development of digitization from an early age. It shapes not only their communication behavior, but also their view of the world. The millennials of generation Y are accustomed to quickly accessing knowledge and other things. This results in a great openness to improvisation. They evaluate situations for their own benefits and keep as many options open as possible. Many invest in their own development. They are looking both professionally and personally for opportunities to realize themselves and make a positive contribution to society.
Knowing that the road to retirement is long, these millennials attach great importance to a balance of work and leisure, but have nothing against the blurring of rigid boundaries in terms of work-life blending. Employers are attractive to these digital natives when the usual technical options are available. Opportunities for their own development as well as meaningful work and a positive corporate and feedback culture attract them more than leadership positions. Millennials do not expect Job Security, but Career Security: Companies that help their employees strengthen their own employability earn loyalty. The opportunity to switch between specialist and managerial careers also accommodates the flexible career orientation of Generation Y.
3. Employee wishes of Generation Z - Demand and diversity are growing
Although the generation Z (since 1995 / 2000 until today) overlaps with the millennials, the complete digitization of their everyday life is even clearer: This generation is characterized by a stronger desire for immediate satisfaction of needs and the short stay on topics or activities. At the same time, gene Zers are very pragmatic and adaptable. They are able to reduce the usual complexity of their time to the essentials and to quickly grasp crucial aspects of complex issues. No bad competence in the working world of the future.
Regarding the world of work, this generation would like to see a clearer distinction between work and private life. She is looking for self-fulfillment, especially in her free time. She sees a high willingness to perform critically, because she has seen the downside with her parents, for example in the form of burnouts. It makes their operational readiness dependent on whether the task Sense results and fits their value system. The demands on employers are therefore very high. Some want a secure job, which explains the growing interest in jobs in the public sector. However, if the company's own ideas are not met, there is little commitment to the company and most leave the company within two years.
4. Mosaic careers and employee turnover: skills that companies need
Not only the demands of the applicants change, but also the competences that companies need in the future have changed. The future requirements for employees are divided into four areas. The personal competences differ in interpersonal and intrapersonal competences. They are complemented by technical and methodical skills.
In the intrapersonal area are already existing characteristics such as trust, curiosity and creativity. Interpersonal skills become particularly important, since in the future networked work in different roles will become more and more the rule. Here you need empathy and emotional intelligence. Less technical rather than interdisciplinary and methodical competences are required, that is to say: not just fractions, but more analytical skills; not just spelling but more project management. This allows employees to respond more flexibly and agile to change. The methodological competencies are not just about knowledge, but about its active use and situational implementation. When it comes to media literacy, for example, it is not about knowing different media such as e-mail or Instagram, but rather using it in the interests of your own goals.
5. New world of work: Mindset is more important than perfection
If you take a closer look at these requirements and ideas, you get the impression that companies are looking for the perfect person. Just as there is neither the perfect company for everyone, you are also on the wrong track with the "perfect man". What smart companies should therefore pay attention to is a certain mindset. Most skills can be developed by people, but only if the attitude is right. For companies, therefore, it is precisely those employees who are characterized by a great willingness to acquire the skills that they do not bring with them.
Companies are looking for people who are able and willing to organize themselves, to resolve conflicts, to make arrangements, to engage in discussions and to develop themselves further. In addition to this self-governing competence, more and more people need to understand how a company works. This ability is evident in the issue of responsibility, it shows when people are willing to make decisions under uncertainty and feel like making something without knowing if it works.
Conclusion: mosaic careers and a new world of work as a win-win for employees and companies
People no longer want to work for just one company in the future. And companies can no longer afford to simply use employees as a workforce. The changes in the working world pave the way to an increasingly complex win-win connection. If employees see opportunities to grow and meet their needs, and if the company supports them in strengthening their own employability, the company benefits from loyal, dedicated, creative and motivated intrapreneurs.
Managers and HR managers, who also understand that each generation wants to shape their careers differently, and who adapt their structures and leadership styles to these changing needs, will not have to worry about finding and retaining employees in the future.
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