This articles discusses some of the ways in which people may surpass those hard to climb rungs of social mobility when finding or progressing in a job.
How many times have we come across a very desirable job opening in the newspaper but after looking at some highly prestigious organization’s name that advertised it, lost our confidence due to fear of a high brand name? Or after reading the fancy statements used to describe a job opening, giving out highly competitive vibes, thought how scary the actual thing might be and back paddled? Or perhaps even despite having all the right qualifications, not applied to certain places due to the feeling that one’s “other” skills are not polished enough? These sound like pretty common dilemmas. While commenting on barriers to access to career opportunities, a Deloitte report, The Social Mobility Challenge – Collaborating To Make A Difference, states, “during entry to the workforce, jargon filled job descriptions can portray firms as elitist institutions, prompting fewer applications from those from low socioeconomic backgrounds and thus perpetuating the cycle of social immobility.” So what is social mobility in the job market? Social mobility in the workplace can be defined as the ability for people to apply for, obtain and advance in roles that are above or below their social status. And now directly jumping into some of the secrets that people may use to surpass those rungs of immobility of getting and advancing in jobs.
Though education/ skill development
This is the most obvious one: a higher education level reflects higher knowledge and capacity to fulfill labour market demands. However, sometimes if it is not possible to earn more degrees or formal education directly, things such as paid/unpaid internships, job training programs and vocational training also fit the bill. According to a famous economic theory, human capital theory, formal education and job training programs efficiently allow a person to increase his/her human capital and increase the supply of higher skilled labor. And higher human capital translates into higher productivity and chances of more doors getting opened for a person. Hence, human capital raises future earnings both directly and indirectly:in the first case through potential future earnings in certain occupations and in latter through improvements in career paths.
Networks hold importance in that they can play multiple roles in allowing people to find jobs, whereby the size and the sort of network a person belongs to can impact the sort of job they hear about. They can bring people occupational advancements or promotions whereby people can find mentorship, chances to work on bigger and better projects and offer new and creative ideas from those higher up in the hierarchy through these networks. Furthermore, these can allow people to explore their options in new places and avenues depending on the extent of one’s network etc. And where to find these networking opportunities? Everywhere. These might range from entry level opportunities, where one can go to career fairs to get familiar with different sorts of employers in one’s community to a chance for junior employees to directly get up close and personal with the top management at an organization’s formal gathering to digital opportunities on platforms such as LinkedIn. Hence people, just carpe diem!
Through getting in step with innovation
Sometimes, despite all our technical expertise and work knowledge, there is a loophole in the teams and organizations around us that can only be filled by creative thinking or a more hands on approach to solving problems. That’s where innovative work methods come in. Workplace innovation can be defined as: “evidence-based organisational practices that enable employees at every level to use and develop their skills, knowledge, experience and creativity to the fullest possible extent, simultaneously enhancing business performance, engagement and well-being. Being well attuned with innovation nowadays is becoming a leading marker of social mobility at work places because it leads to a large amount of turnover and is the sole driver of long term economic growth. According to an article published by Chicago Booth Review titled How Can We Improve Social Mobility, “in the long run, economies are growing only due to technological progress and innovation.” Some places to find innovation include local accelerators, maker spaces, and on-campus incubators for students.
Through learning about advancements in technology
Automation and its impact on organizations and workplaces is not far off. It’s taking place as we are talking. According to a World Economic Forum’s 2020 Global Risk Report, 73% of the executives predict some stirring disruptions in the workplace over the next three years due to technological changes. 1 in 5 current jobs will be replaced by AI and automations, and 42% of the core skills required to perform existing jobs will change in the next two years. So in order to cope with these challenges, take benefits of the change of wind people! And to make your skills more culturally relevant, try and become well versed in the technological advancements which are much sought after. Some of these skills include cloud technology, workforce solutions with digital security in mind, workplace virtual reality systems for collaborations and secure group messaging systems etc.