#1 — FOCUS ON DEVELOPMENT VS ATTRACTION
I predict companies will shift their investment from attraction to development in 2023. A recent survey found 90% of Australian CEO’s expect to experience staff shortages this year. In response, 50% of these organisations have committed to increasing their training budgets.
Hiring is an important strategy to support business growth and close skill gaps. But as global recruitment challenges continue, businesses can no longer rely on it as their go-to solution. Plus, the costs are significant.
Replacing an employee costs companies up to twice their annual salary package. Then there’s the loss of productivity and time it takes to attract, onboard and train a new hire before they start performing at full capacity. Employers also spend tens of thousands of dollars at a time on recruitment fees — but invest a fraction of this into training and development.
It’s an issue I’ve been highlighting for years and a big reason why I moved from recruitment into career development. Because I saw too many people leave jobs as they weren’t happy in previous positions — to find the same issues followed them to their next role. Meanwhile, their former employer lost valuable skills, company knowledge and experience.
A better solution is to address the REAL reasons these individuals decided to move on in the first place. Often they’d prefer not to leave but assume what they want isn’t available — yet haven’t even asked! In most cases, an honest conversation with your employer will resolve these issues.
Companies understand the importance of developing and retaining existing employees — especially in the current environment when it’s difficult to hire. They’re investing in upskilling, job redesign and supporting alternative career pathways. I expect this to be a growing trend in 2023, as organisations do what they can to meet the career goals of their people.
What this means for you: If you want to make a change in your career this year, don’t discount your current company. Explore opportunities to upskill or make an internal move before looking externally.
It’s also critical to drive your own development. Ask yourself: What are the gaps between where I am now — and where I want to go next in my career? Work out ways to close these gaps, communicate this to your leader and create your development plan together.
Development is most effective when it’s customised to you and integrated over time. When identifying specific strategies, look beyond traditional CPD programs or companywide training. Instead, incorporate on the job learning, ongoing feedback, mentoring and coaching into your plan.
Have a specific training or coaching program you’d like your employer to invest in? When seeking approval, be sure to highlight the benefits to your organisation. Think — increased productivity, performance or specific leadership skills you’re looking to develop.
When you drive your own development and ask for what you want, you will grow your career in 2023!
#2 — DESIGNING YOUR CAREER, YOUR WAY
My second prediction for 2023 is we’re going to see a rise in people starting to redesign their careers, their way. Especially if you’ve followed a traditional career where there’s one clear pathway or model of success. It’s a mission I’ve been championing for years and exactly what I help my clients with.
So what does it mean to design a career on your terms? It’s about questioning whether your career supports your values, purpose, strengths, goals and lifestyle. No longer accepting the status quo and creating your version of success.
After all the rapid changes over the past few years, many people began questioning their priorities and professions. But it also created a lot of uncertainty and left us in a holding pattern as we waited for life to ‘go back to normal’.
2023 is the first year we’ve started without restrictions, lockdowns or border closures — in Australia anyway. As we return to some type of normality in this post pandemic world, there’s a sense it’s time to move from analysis to action. We’re done thinking about doing something different — or even talking about it — and ready to take action!
What this means for you…
If you’ve been thinking about making a change in your career, it’s your responsibility to take ownership of it. No-one else can do it for you — and given the pace of change, it’s impossible for your employer to stay on top of everyone’s individual needs. Begin by getting clear on your goals and what you want next in your career.
Next, start taking action towards it by focusing on small steps, one at a time. If you don’t have clarity on what you want, talk to people doing work which interests you, volunteer or explore interests outside work. The more you take action towards the things you enjoy, the faster you’ll find clarity.
Finally, the biggest barrier to action is your mindset. Know it IS possible to create the career you want. Every day I help people redesign their current roles, make a shift in their existing professions — or change careers completely.
This doesn’t mean quitting your job tomorrow. You can do it in a way which is strategic, minimises fear and risk. If you’re stuck or confused about what you want or how to get there, reach out for support.
Because when you move from analysis into action, you’ll start to create a career on your terms.
#3 — FLEXIBILITY IS AN EXPECTATION, NOT A LUXURY
Flexibility is no longer a ‘nice to have’ — it’s an expectation. The era of Elon Musk like expectations of 40+ hour weeks in the office and long, intense hours has ended. In Australia, employment laws are being updated to further support flexible working arrangements.
A decade ago (back in my recruitment days), I placed a senior lawyer into a global law firm on a part-time basis. I remember the pushback she received when requesting to work a 3 day week — even 4 days was a stretch. But the COVID ‘experiment’ proved remote work can be productive, even in big professional services firms.
Still, many organisations struggle with the impacts of remote work on culture and employee development. Opportunities for on the job learning, feedback and building your network become limited. In turn, this may affect your ability to get promoted or progress your career.
It’s also tricky to accommodate every employee’s needs. Generic guidelines like working remotely 2 days a week or going to the office on a Monday and Friday don’t suit everyone. Some staff enjoy the social aspect of the office or want to avoid distractions at home, while others prefer to work from home more often.
People EXPECT to have much more choice about how, when and from where they work. Of course, it’s important to consider the nature of your work, client needs and business model. But I predict companies will give employees more control over their schedules to support retention and attraction.
What this means for you: As you consider what you want in your career and life in 2023, get clear on what flexibility looks like to you. What is important when it comes to your wellbeing?
Then, ask your employer for what you want — but be realistic. What are your non-negotiables? How can you come to an agreement which works for you, your team and organisation?
This is all about effective communication and knowing what you’re willing to compromise on. Never assume what you want isn’t available without having a conversation first. If your employer is unable to meet your expectations, then you can consider finding one who can.
When you get clear on what flexibility looks like to YOU, it’s possible to create a career that’s fulfilling — and sustainable.
So there you have it. My 3 biggest career predictions for 2023. My hope is you can take advantage of these career trends in the current landscape to develop your career this year!