Recently, I trained a number of outplacement professionals in the application of the Career Fitness Profiler, our career development instrument that, amongst other things, measures career attitudes in individuals. The notion of career attitudes inspired an interesting discussion about self-managment. Everybody agreed that the development self-management in the career was useful for coachees in the outplacement programs. At the same time, the outplacement professionals were worried that for some people, developing career attitudes was way over their heads. The reasoning was pretty much as follows: "Some of the coachees come in and just want to get another job as soon as possible. They are not interested in developing career attitudes. Once a new job is found, they want to believe that the new company will be a safe haven until they retire."
In other words, outplacement centers are filled with people who have worked for 15-20 years for companies like Ford, DHL, Delhaize, Heinz, Makro, Hewlett Packard, and other perceived stable employers. The majority did not see the job loss coming, nor were they prepared for the jungle that the labor market has become. Furthermore, they want to continue to believe that being the master of their own career is not necessary. They just want to go to another ‘stable’ employer as soon as possible, continue to live in the illusion that this new company represents stability and forget the horrible episode of the job loss.
My opinion is that life-long employment does not exist anymore, not for white collars and not for blue collars. Organizations cannot pretend to offer it anymore and employees need to accept this fact.
I think it is about time that:
The reasons are obvious:
If you are a career coach, outplacement company or an HR-professional, I have three tips for you:
In conclusion, no company can guarantee life-long employment, both companies and employees have to take the responsibility to make professionals ready for the internal and external labor market, thus their employability. Developing career attitudes does just that.
Contact us if you want to know more about the Career Fitness Profiler and the Career Discovery Trajectory for measuring and developing career management attitudes.