It’s no surprise to anyone that work as we know it is changing. We’re bombarded with statistics about the effects of AI, living longer, and new jobs cropping up while old ones fade away. The term “future of work” yields a seemingly endless list of links in online searches. The stats are staggering, sometimes contradictory, and frankly feel a little overwhelming, causing many of us uncertainty and sometimes downright panic about jobs we and our kids will be doing in the future. But, one thing remains. Many, if not most, of us need to work to thrive, not only to cover life’s expenses but to actively engage our minds and reach our potential to make a positive impact in the world.
Today’s Changing Landscape
There are more than 150 million people who are employed in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Yet, we face a growing employment problem. According to the ManpowerGroup Talent Shortage Report, 69% of employers struggle to fill positions. Globally, 54% of companies report talent shortages – the highest in over a decade. Oftentimes, companies underutilize one of their most valuable assets when looking to fill new roles within the organization, their employees.
Global industry analyst Josh Bersin recently observed that “people are the only appreciating asset you have in a business.” He notes that there is power in creating candidates from existing employee pools, instead of hiring externally. In order for this to work, organizations must be willing to hire people with the potential to grow and be willing to train them and help people re-skill or upskill. This doesn’t only foster internal innovation, it makes good business sense. Bersin notes that it can be 6 times less expensive to re-skill than hire externally.
Upskilling and Opportunity
With all this in mind, it’s helpful to understand an industry that is growing and how you can thrive in a career. Employment in healthcare occupations is projected to grow 14 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 1.9 million new jobs. Healthcare occupations are projected to add more jobs than any of the other occupational groups, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook.
Since people are one of the leading appreciating assets in any field, it’s important to invest in them and help them upskill throughout their careers. One Certified Nurses Assistant, Michelle, recently spoke of her experience in seeking additional training in order to expand her career and become a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant. She’s now more engaged in the medical field and has a goal of continuing her education to one day become an Administrator at a hospital or clinic.
Michelle’s example demonstrates the power of lifelong learning in order to progress in our careers. It also shows the importance of communicating with your employer about your willingness to train and areas of interest. By making it known that you are interested in building your skillset to benefit the company, you immediately put yourself on the radar of management as an employee who is willing to grow and help the company move forward.
So, start by doing some research, talk with your manager, and check with HR because some programs are eligible for company reimbursement. Consider many options, for example, if you work in healthcare check out the many different certification programs available. No matter what field you choose to work in one thing unites us all – as we focus on lifelong learning and development, we can help ourselves and our careers thrive.