Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

There was a time when employees believed in their employers. A time when employees wanted to come to work and be part of something.

Fast forward to modern times and 70% of employees are not engaged at work.  And the average employee only stays at their job for 4.3 years.

Add to this the growing gig economy where many professionals and service providers don’t have jobs but rather have projects. Projects that come and go.

Many factors have contributed to this reality: long-term employment relationships are the exception, not the rule. We’ll get into why that is the case in a future article. But for today we face the facts.

Training Isn’t What It Used To Be

Back in the day, before the average employee only stuck around for 4.3 years at a job it made a lot of economic sense for employers to train employees.  When employees stick around spending days, weeks or even months of training makes sense because the employer benefits on the back-end when the employee is building on those skills 5, 10 and 15 years later and still working for the employer.

We aren’t saying training makes no sense – because training does still make sense – but from an investment standpoint it isn’t what it used to be. It’s harder to justify in your corporate budget why.

Why is training so hard to justify? Because there is an active free agent market.

In professional sports when a player’s contract ends they become a free agent and can sign with any team. We are, essentially, seeing the same thing in the job market. With employees only sticking around 4.3 years and an active gig economy employers can fill positions quickly with available talent.

Many employers ask “why grow my own talent when I can get what I need when I need it?” It’s a fair question probably being asked directly, or indirectly, in most boardrooms today.

Whether intentional or not budgets are getting pulled back and employers want to hire those that bring skills on demand.

Raises Aren’t What They Used To Be

A recent Bankrate study showed that half of US workers did not get a raise in 2019. Half!

Buried in that study was the fact that 69% of those that did get a raise got a raise because of performance or a new role.

Only 26% of the half of US workers that got a raise got it due to a cost of living adjustment. Employers no longer are rewarding you for just being there.

It’s get better and more valuable skills or get out of the way.

Just showing up to work won’t get you a raise or job security. However improving skills (performance) and taking on my responsibility will.

Raises come down to increasing your talent – even if employers aren’t seeing the benefit to training from their end.

This Adds Us to This:  You Are In Control

Image by <a href="">Free-Photos</a> from <a href="">Pixabay</a>

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

So those that grow get paid more – and those that don’t see stagnant wages.

All of this puts you – the worker – in the driver’s seat. If you can show up and perform better, or make the case for a promotion by showing the skills to move up, you can earn an increase in pay.

The Bankrate study shows that those that improve make more money even if your employer, in many cases, won’t give you that path to making more.

This World is Built For Go-Getters

All of this leads to the simple conclusion that this current employment world is built for delivering skills on demand. Employers want to pay to get results now – not invest for hoped results later.

And it doesn’t matter how you get those skills.  The key is to deliver the skills to the employer when they need them.

This is the perfect set-up for go-getters and those that want to control their destiny. If you can take charge and improve your skills and value you can garner those wage increases that many other workers are not enjoying.

Self-Training Isn’t a Foreign Concept

It may seem foreign that you have to invest in yourself. It seems that the rules have changed.

And they have, but they also haven’t.

Most of us have some type of formal education. We were educated at our own expense (or maybe our parents) to develop skills we could deliver to an employer.

Today what has changed is that many employees expect more than a degree or a diploma. Implicit in today’s business world is that you bring the skills you need to the job marketplace.

So the idea of training yourself for work isn’t new. What is new is that you need to do it later in life and on an ongoing basis.

How To Change It All

If you want to see your salary and job possibilities grow the future is yours.

You can take control and change your future by understanding the need for constant upskilling. From there you can build your plan to build and develop your skills while working for others.

If you are one of the few that will act on this advice you will see your wages increase and your future grow. All while the other half of workers are complaining their wages aren’t going up!

By: The Our Shawn McBride, is the business nerd and long-time business attorney that focuses on changes of ownership in businesses. He works with business owners that know their business is about more than themselves to get ready for their future within the future of business through keynotes, training and personalized solutions. In furtherance of this he hosts The Future Done Right(TM) Show where he collects, digests and gives lessons and insights on The Future of Business. If you want regular content on the future of business subscribe to get new blog posts from us here.

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