Research shows the evolution of the workplace could make career plans extinct

Changing priorities are shaping the way employees plan their careers and breaking down traditional workplace structures, according to the latest Talent Trends research from talent solutions business Hudson.
Career Path
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●      67% of those surveyed said they didn’t have a career plan

●      Only 14% of those surveyed were optimistic about achieving their career plan

●      46% of 16-34s are more interested in broadening their skill base now more than two years ago


The job seekers survey, which assesses ongoing changes to the UK workforce, has shown that younger employees value experience and skills over the traditional, linear, career paths preferred by their older co-workers.

It reveals a restlessness amongst younger employees keen to diversify their careers. 41% of 16-34s feel that gaining broader experience is more important to them than two years ago, compared with only 25% of their older colleagues. Almost half (46%) of 16-34s wish to broaden their skills base, compared to just one third of 35+ employees, while 39% of 16-34s wish to experience other roles within their company, compared to just 20% of 35+ employees.

With Brexit casting an uncertain future for UK businesses, companies risk losing their most loyal employees by failing to provide career guidance and planning. While three quarters of employees (75%) aged 16-34 would like to stay at their current organisation, two thirds claim to be unaware of the career opportunities available within their companies.

As employees age, their priorities inevitably shift. 62% of employees are happy to remain in their current role, whilst almost half don’t want to have a career path within their organisation and just 25% are more interested in gaining more experience in their own role.

To contrast this, younger employees may see leaving their current role as inevitable in order to gain more experience. 62% of employees aged 16-34 would be happy to work overseas, whereas just 39% of older employees, and two thirds of the younger age group (67%) think it’s likely they’ll be freelancing in the near future.

Tim Drake, UK Talent Management Director at Hudson, comments: Tim drake

“While younger employees are actually very loyal to their employers, they’re looking to upskill and broaden their experience as a means of navigating the new world of work. Businesses need to adopt a more fluid approach to career progression, giving younger employees – for whom the ‘job for life’ is an alien concept – a chance to develop career plans better suited to their needs and ambitions. The workplace is transforming and failure to break with the linear structures of the past could risk alienating the younger workforce and losing staff to more dynamic competitors.”

“High growth businesses are driven by employees who thrive in the fast-paced, digitally transformed world we see around us. Providing opportunities to progress and diversify – offering ‘careers within careers’ – sits at the heart of this mindset. With nearly half of younger employees concerned that Brexit will make achieving their career goals more difficult, UK businesses will gain a competitive advantage by moving away from treating employees as a homogeneous mass and doing more to differentiate career plans, understanding different employees’ aspirations and needs.”

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