Career Development, Advancement and Progression

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In today's business world there will be few employees who spend their entire career working for the same organisation. Whereas once upon a time those who moved jobs every five years or so were seen as lacking commitment and loyalty, nowadays it is considered quite normal.

The reasons for this change to a more "liquid" labour force vary, but include factors such as:

  • Workers being able to commute over greater distances thanks to improvements in technology and transportation links. This means that they are no longer limited to having to work somewhere close to where they live.

  • Less pressure from parents to follow in their footsteps. This often resulted in children entering the same place of work as their parents and being too afraid of causing anger or disappointment to them by leaving to do something else with their lives.

  • Loss of company pension and reward schemes. Significant financial rewards could be earned by those who stayed with the company for decades, but with businesses attempting to cut costs to keep selling prices down in order to compete with intense - often now global - competition, these rewards are lower or even non-existent, removing a persuasive argument for staying.

  • Greater choice of employment opportunities. A generation or two ago there were far less industries in which a person could work. The services industry was tiny compared to manufacturing, and concepts such as creating your own business at home were not really available like they are today. Also, many owners of these industries such as factory owners had working conditions and pay rates pretty much identical to those of other factories nearby. This meant that employees saw little point in switching from one employer to another of the same type.

  • Less training available. Workers often learnt the skills for a trade when they were children by being an apprentice or going along with their parents into their place of work. This often meant that they were tied to that profession for life, with no opportunity to learn new skills to work in a different industry.

  • Less financial support. With many families struggling to keep above the poverty line, they could not afford to suffer any sort of disruption to their income that would be experienced in the time between leaving one job and starting another. This compelled many to stay where they were.

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