What do 2017’s Hottest Jobs Offer Job Seekers?
The Annual Lists
I love this time of year. It’s full of lists looking back at the prior year and looking forward with predictions of what’s to come. CNNMoney just released their take on what they expect to be the best 100 jobs in America in 2017. Of the 100, 36 of them are technology related and Mobile Application Developer claims the top spot. Which jobs round out the top 10?
- Risk Management Director
- Product Analyst
- Info Assurance Analyst
- Quality Assurance Coordinator
- Clinical Applications Specialist
- Hospital Administrator
- Database Analyst
- Director, Finance & Administration
Now, these aren’t necessarily the top paying jobs. Those go to:
- Petroleum Engineer
- IT Security Director
- Pharmacy Director
- Auditing Director
- Divisional GM
Perhaps the most interesting list is the “Fastest-growing Jobs,” for this may be the best predictor of where job applicants are most looking:
- Analytics Manager
- Portfolio Manager
- Occupational Therapist
- Clinical Apps Specialist
- Nursing Instructor
- Mobile App Developer
- Product Analyst
Moving From A Worker to A Contributor
So what are these jobs offering that others may not? CNN says that the strong job market “means workers can be pickier about where to apply their talents, so when we set out to find America’s Best Jobs this year, we sought professionals that not only offer opportunity for advancement but ones that are satisfying as well.”
It appears that what we want most out of our jobs isn’t necessarily higher pay or better benefits. It’s more about the opportunity to grow and advance our careers – in a field that satisfies. A research report that considered reviews from more than 250,000 large companies in the U.S. showed the leading factor on morale was opportunities for career advancement.
The Association for Talent Management found the same, stating that “career development can help with retention because employees can develop a sense of loyalty to employers who are willing to invest in them. Likewise, when it is time to hire new employees, career development programs can be attractive to job seekers.”
Further, the American Psychological Association’s Center for Organizational Excellence says, “The opportunity to gain new skills and experience can increase employee motivation and job satisfaction and help workers more effectively manage stress.”
The truth is, none of us want to be “stuck” in a dead-end job. As much as we may grumble about change, we actually enjoy a little of it to break up the monotony. We like to be challenged a bit, to learn new things and to evolve from a task-oriented worker to a solutions-oriented contributor. We want to feel like what we do matters and that we play a pivotal role in the company.
Here are some interesting stats about employee development:
- 60% of HR leaders believe their companies provide employees a clear path while only 36 percent of employees believe this to be true
- 41% of employees would leave their company for better career options
- 31% of employees believe their background skills and talents were not being recognized
- 45% of employees want to move into a management or executive position within the next five years
Why is there such a disconnect between what employees view as career advancement and what employers are delivering? It seems HR managers are on board, they just may not have the approval or resources to do so.
This can change. And it doesn’t have to require begging for a large upfront capital investment.
Organizational Chart Software Identifies Growth Opportunities
In a world where practically everything seems automated, digitized, and mobile-ized, it’s curious that we still don’t have technology in place to track employees’ career paths and identify areas for growth. Instead, most organizations find themselves with a tightrope of sorts: employees pulling on one end as they try to climb the corporate ladder, and the company pulling the other end as they try to balance resources with budgets. There is no doubt that HR wants nothing more than to attract and retain the best talent, but without a built-in system, it’s simply impossible to give every employee the growth opportunities they want.
Until that perfect technology comes to market, there is at least one piece of software that makes the process much easier. Org chart software. Yes, it is ideal for graphically representing the organizational structure of a company, but today’s software can do so much more.
First, if we judge the org chart by its outward appearance, we can quickly see where a manager might be overloaded with too many direct reports. Expanding “spans of control” can cause bottlenecks, stress and stunted growth for both the manager and the direct reports.
Related: What’s Your Ideal Span of Control?
When you can look at an organizational chart and see one manager has, say, 12 direct reports, there’s a chance someone could move into a managerial position to assist the other manager. Others may be able to move to different teams where they can either develop new skills or find additional areas in the company where those skills might be needed. This opens the employee up to new opportunities, new people and new career trajectories.
Going a step further, modern business organizational software enables employees to enrich their profiles with information beyond name and title. They can include a photo, along with background skills and talents, current projects, future ambitions, additional training, etc. All of this information is readily available to managers and co-workers alike, making it much simpler to see where skills could grow, where they could be shared, and where they are missing.
Other Methods to Foster Growth
If career advancement opportunities are what employees want, it makes sense to talk with them to know where exactly they want to go. Managers should include this topic during conversations in performance reviews or scheduled private meetings. It’s a good idea to train these managers on how to bring up the topic, what signs to look for to “read between the lines,” and discuss growth opportunities in a positive, yet realistic way.
It is important to discuss where they see they could offer value – in other areas of the business. It may not be a direct line up from where they currently are. Instead, they may see themselves in a completely different role or developing their existing skills in a new way. Managers should be open to see their vision and to find ways to give them the opportunities to explore these interests, even if they don’t follow the most obvious career path.
Managers can also encourage employees to enroll in continuing education or specialized training courses where they can either develop their skills or learn new ones. The ideas for where they can expand their skills doesn’t have to come from the employees. In fact, employees who believe their managers can name their strengths are 71 percent more likely to feel engaged and energized, so make the effort to point out areas where they shine.
While most managers don’t want to see their best employees leave their position, for the good of the employee and the company, managers should be willing to champion any employee who they believe could excel in other areas. We now understand how important growth is to employees. Having your manager recognize your strengths and encourage promotions and/or career moves to help you achieve your professional goals will go a long way in keeping talent in-house.
Let’s not kid ourselves. Employees enjoy fat paychecks and awesome benefits. But a perk with more staying power is having a company that isn’t shy about pointing out employee strengths, respects their employees’ desire to grow, and supports employees’ dreams. Who doesn’t want to work for a company that fosters that kind of personal consideration?