Trends in the changing workplace have created employment practices that have implications for career development. Company downsizing, early retirement buyouts, and the growing use of contingent employment has led some people to fear that full-time employment will not be available to them. However, new configurations of workers and alternative work arrangements do not necessarily signify lost employment opportunities. This Myths and Realities examines the
differences between perception and practice as they relates to employment and career development.
Loyalty and job security have disappeared The new "partnership" relationship between employer and employee, which is reportedly replacing the old "parent-child" relationship, emphasizes worker employability. In the "partnership" relationship, employers provide employees with opportunities for career and skill development, and employees take advantage of the opportunities they are given to enhance their skills, marketability, and potential for continued employment. Philosophically, this employer-employee trade off is equally beneficial. Employers invest time and money in their employees' growth, employees learn updated skills that are reflected in improved worker productivity and increased company profits, and employers realize a good "return on investment." In practice, however, the cycle is not always completed.
Loyalty, which seems a natural outgrowth of the give and take process, may be too elusive to rely on chance. From the onset, organizations deciding to upgrade the skills and employability of their employees have been concerned that they could lose the workers they train to their competition. Filipczak (1995) countered this per...
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Filipczak, B. "You're on Your Own." TRAINING 32, no. 1 (January 1995): 29-36.
Hetzer, B. "Beware the Ties that Bind." BUSINESS WEEK, March 17, 1997, pp. 120-121.
Kane, A. "Older Workers Widen Role in Work Force." CAREER MAGAZINE
Kennedy, J. "Employment Agreements Becoming More Common." THE PLAIN DEALER, June
1, 1997, p. 5D.
National Alliance of Business. "The Contingent' Workforce: Temporary Phenomenon or
Permanent Fixture?" WORKFORCE ECONOMICS 2, no. 7 (June 1996): 7-11. (ED 398 424)
Tarrant, J. PERKS AND PARACHUTES. New York: Random House, 1997.
"Your Life." USA TODAY 125, no. 2622 (March 1997): 6.
Vickers, M. "Quitting a New Job? You May Pay the Movers." NEW YORK TIMES, February
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