The modern career has been irrevocably changed. COVID-19 has accelerated the effect of disruptive forces such as automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and digital transformation, as well as expedited the move to remote and hybrid work.1 This has led to a fundamental shift in the way people approach their career growth, and transformed the skills required to succeed. The pandemic has also impacted what people want from their careers. The focus is no longer just on money and status, but also on well-being, and personal and professional growth. To address these changes, GetSmarter’s 360-Degree Career Framework outlines the development areas that support a more resilient and fulfilling long-term professional life.
The ‘great resignation’ brought on by the ‘great discontent’
The World Economic Forum found that 70% of workers felt that the restrictions brought on by COVID-19 led to the most stressful period in their career.2 The result has been widespread burnout. In the US, a record-breaking 4.3 million professionals quit their jobs in August 2021, bringing the total resignations to 20 million since April of the same year.3 In a country like South Africa, with an unemployment rate of 34.9%,4 the impact of the ‘great resignation’ is still to be seen. However, it’s foreseeable that the lack of certain skills could see highly skilled South Africans behaving more selectively when choosing where and how they work.
A significant driver of this en masse resignation is the fact that many employees are feeling unengaged or actively disengaged. In the first year of the pandemic, employee engagement dropped globally by two points to 20%.5 Career stagnation is also contributing to the current status quo, with the top reasons for these feelings being lack of clarity about a development path, lack of mentors, and a decrease in one-on-one time with leaders.6