Recent studies indicate that the proficient professionals are changing jobs more frequently. Why is this phenomenon becoming rampant?
Last year, I met my friend who was working in a bank. Some months back, I met him again at a party and asked him whether he was working in the same bank. He said that he had already left that bank and was now working as the manager of another bank. “One cannot make a professional growth working in the same institution for long time. For professional diversity, you should be ready for change,” he said.
Apparently, modern workforce is different from that of the past in many respects. One can leave the job anytime and can get another if one is competent. This is more so in private companies where one is asked to perform well and get competitive salary. To some extent, the professional goal and job search for a prospective employee is as strenuous as walking on the razor’s edge. Thanks to the modern education and professional diversity, many of our young guys can easily pursue professional paths in many sectors. Though workforce today is more competitive than that of the past, there are multiple flexibilities in the pursuits of jobs.
“Prove your merit and get the job” is a common motto for promising young people who aspire for jobs in their chosen fields. Competition is thriving in each sector—private or public. This thriving competition in potential job markets is requiring specific professional skills. Many companies these days hire professionals who can provide greater benefits and meet the employers’ demands. And if the employers feel that the professionals are not compatible to their business plans and policies, they can be sacked within minutes.
At the same time, professionalism is being redefined in the modern times as the traditional courses, for professional growth is thought to be irrelevant. Simply put, these traditional courses don’t prepare human resources that are required in the twenty first century job markets. Today’s world expects a person to be efficient and conversant with modern professional integrity: One has to be technically sound, fluent in communication skills, and versatile. Theoretical knowledge does not suffice. In some cases, one has to have the ability of multi-tasking as well. A commonplace employee, in this sense, cannot have all these qualities. Even Public Service Commission of Nepal has modified the course for the civil employees. Some years back, there used to be many general knowledge questions. Now things have been made more pragmatic. In India, Indian Administrative Service (IAS) has modified courses where prospective employees have to make several presentations.
Many of these factors have made modern jobs more fleeting. Companies are not responsible for frequent job change. The professionals themselves are responsible as well. Some recent studies indicate that the proficient professionals are those who can change the jobs more frequently than others. Why is this phenomenon becoming rampant? Is it because of money? Management experts these days are trying to find reasons of these factors before hiring any employee in the long run. Intelligence and capabilities are not only the measuring rods for the assurance of jobs. Rather, the aptitude and emotional intelligence are also considered eminent factors.
Employees remain in jobs due to motivations. Money and perks and facilities are the external and extrinsic motivations for job changes. However, psychologists and management experts see other factors. Of course, money and facilities are associated with pride and dignity because the professionals feel themselves that they are given worth value they have.
There are some worrying facts behind the idea of meritocracy. Some recent studies hint that competitive professionals are not working for long. They are being considered as unreliable professionals. Besides, in terms of jobs satisfaction also, they are not happy as compared to the mediocre professionals. It is also found that such professionals are so individualistic and cannot comply with others.
Having observed all these discrepancies, many companies these days try to see emotional intelligence or track record of the professionals. It is not that a professional should be high-sounding in terms of intellectual intelligence in his entire working environment. Rather, he has to work with people where he is required to be equipped with emotional intelligence.
Meritocracy in some cases is seen as predatory because one’s competence can rob others’ opportunities. In other words, those who cannot get jobs losing the competition are taken as inefficient human resources. There are moral and psychological sides to it. If one fails in competition, where can he get another?
Moreover, meritocracy has another side to it too. Only few people have capacity to be engaged in most challenging and proficient jobs in the market. But a large number of people have to work in common jobs that can also contribute to economy of the country. Many countries have to rely on a huge number of inefficient workers because they are builders of economy for the long run. For example, it is said that American economy is largely contributed by the immigrant workers who come from Asian and Latin America.
The shifting profession can also lead to low economic activities and high economic prosperity. Many people seem to be adhering to new professions for the prosperity and economic opportunities. Many people are losing their traditional professions as modern surges of jobs tend to appeal them.
Thus there should be a fine balance between traditional skills and modern requirements.
The author is a lecturer at Ratna Rajya Laxmi Campus, Kathmandu