Career Pathways – Frameworks for Navigating Successful Careers in a Tumultuous Work World
Author: Gary W. Carter
There have been extraordinary changes in jobs and careers in recent years driven by rapid technological change and globalization of the economy. These changes have resulted in fundamental transformations in the skills needed to thrive in the workplace; the pace of change in skill requirements and tasks performed on jobs; how tasks are configured into jobs; how, where, when and by whom work is accomplished; and in how and through what organizational contexts services are procured. Put simply, these changes have profoundly affected careers throughout the world, with frequent job transitions and tens of millions of gig workers.
Within this context, there have been many notable efforts in both the educational and workplace contexts to help individuals gain in-demand skills, hone the ability to proactively maintain and update their skill portfolios, and successfully navigate career pathways in an increasingly tumultuous world of work. The forthcoming edited volume entitled Career Pathways: From School to Retirement (J. Hedge and G. Carter, eds., Oxford University Press, in press) brings together a host of authors representing both educational and workplace perspectives from several countries to examine how a career pathways approach can help both individuals and organizations thrive in today’s world.
As stressed by Hedge and Carter in the introductory chapter of the book:“It is important that educational institutions focus on building workforce skills and systematically prepare students for success in the complex, messy, shifting work environment that they will face throughout their careers. It is also important for persons in the workforce to proactively manage their careers by routinely updating their knowledge and skills, seeking out experiences to help them grow in their careers, and maintaining an awareness of potential next steps on their career paths. It is important for businesses to help build a workforce that is equipped to thrive in the ever-changing world of work. Adopting a career pathways framework and approach can help guide educational institutions in teaching students competencies that will increase their employability and can also help organizations develop people strategically, build engagement, and improve retention. Creating a more holistic, data-driven perspective on career progression—for individuals, organizations, and the workforce development community—increases the likelihood that sound, equitable, and beneficial decisions will be made by all stakeholders responsible for supporting and guiding career choices and career success across the life course” (Hedge and Carter, Ch. 1).