This year’s college graduates are entering the workforce amid what’s being called the generative AI gold rush.
Organizations are scrambling to take advantage of powerful AI technologies that are transforming work as we know it. The possibilities are exciting—empowering professionals to work more efficiently and quickly grow in their careers—but, the uncertainty of how work will look and feel can be daunting for those wanting to take the important first step of their careers.
In a world where jobs are undergoing significant changes, or even ceasing to exist due to advancing technology, how can today’s workforce prepare for their careers?
A report recently issued by Goldman Sachs estimates that AI will partially automate two-thirds of professions and can handle about a quarter of the work done by those affected professions. It’s essentially redefining job roles and daily tasks like research, analysis, software development, digital marketing, and so many more, and will continue to do so as it advances.
Its evolution is leaving job hunters to rethink not just their next role but the entire course of their prospective careers. My advice to those just starting out or stepping into a new career? Don’t focus on just looking for a job. Focus on choosing an employer who is purpose-driven, instead of filling a predefined role; they invest in the whole person.
It’s no longer about landing a good job, but about joining an organization that is committed to helping their people develop and evolve. Organizations like this help their employees nurture their passions and potential to create more fulfilling lives, beyond work. They provide access to opportunities, resources, and tools that will help them become effective leaders and compelling change artists.
It’s not as ambiguous an ask for employers as it may seem. Here are three ways to become an organization that paves the way to the future of work:
Build a holistic employee experience
As the confines of job roles fall to the wayside, the limelight shines on employee well-being and the importance of supporting it. It means treating employees as valuable customers and going the distance to meet their needs at work and beyond.
Supporting employees’ entire well-being starts with understanding what motivates them. For many, it’s a safe, inclusive environment, flexibility, and a greater sense of connection to the goals of the organization and its people. It’s also better benefits, including paid time off, childcare assistance, affordable healthcare-insurance options, paternity leave, and retirement plans, some of which enable individual employees to own part of the company they work for, potentially through Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs).
Personalized learning and development, and access to career growth opportunities are also important to the employee experience. In fact, more than one-third of those surveyed for Monster’s 2023 State of the Graduate Report ranked immediate growth and advancement as the most important aspect of a prospective job. Also, 54% of those surveyed shared that they would turn down a job offer if the employer didn’t offer professional growth opportunities. Who can blame them?
Build best-in-class tech stacks
Prioritizing tech investments, including those related to advanced analytics and machine learning solutions, is an effective way to provide professionals with room to grow. These tools arm people with insights and enable them to make faster, data-driven decisions for their organizations. They also free them from the mundane aspects of their work and limit manual processes, enabling them to take on more challenging, rewarding projects.
Access to advanced tech tools and dedicated, ongoing training and support helps employees build their skill sets and increase their adaptability, so they can weather continual change, work beyond traditional departmental silos, and prepare for new roles within the organization and throughout their careers.
Create a culture of agility
Change is unavoidable, especially in a business climate riddled with economic uncertainty and also in the midst of technological evolution. Organizations can help their people embrace and adapt to changes as they occur by building a culture around adaptability.
It starts with more intentional hiring. Realize that roles are evolving and companies must hire people with the agility to evolve with them. Recruit professionals who can be trained for cross-functional roles and highly skilled technologists and software engineers who can provide the tools and training your organization needs to adapt. To create a culture that can withstand our VUCA (volatile, uncertain, chaotic, ambiguous) world, focus on talent that has agility, as well as ambition, ability, and the right attitude.
It’s also important to be intentional about promoting employees and proactively providing experiences and opportunities for staff members to increase their leadership potential and advance their careers. Without support and steady progression, top talent will quickly move on to opportunities elsewhere.
This year’s college graduates are entering the job market at an incredibly exciting, yet challenging, time. While technology continues to evolve and redefine job roles, organizations have the unique opportunity to offer the support and clarity job seekers need to begin their career. It boils down to providing a meaningful employment experience and access to the tools and resources professionals need to continually rise to meet new challenges and be set up for success today and for the future.