How long will employers continue to provide long-term employment guarantees?
I’ve been fascinated by the world of work for many years now. I’m always wondering about the future of work in medicine, healthcare and public health – I love spotting trends, and seeking to understand the many and varied ways in which it is already changing. I often call this ‘my interest in career epidemiology’!
I see lots of job adverts and job descriptions for senior doctors and public health leaders in my role as a Career Coach for doctors providing medical career advice, leadership coaching for doctors and career counselling for doctors, and I’ve recently been pondering the question of whether ‘permanent’ contracts will still be routinely offered in the public sector in 10 years’ time.
The traditional psychological contract is changing
Economic and social changes have been altering the traditional psychological contract between employer and employee for some time and in a number of different ways. Employees expectations are changing and more is being demanded of employers – and the public ‘purse strings’ are also getting tighter. It was a shock to those of us working in senior public health roles a decade ago to see our highly skilled and experienced colleagues being made redundant from local government roles.
In addition, our early-life career choices often don’t fit us as we age and approach retirement. Some people are willing and/or able to leave ‘secure’ posts, this may be due to necessity, the desire to pro-actively manage their own careers, to pursue new opportunities or as a result of more short-term approaches to their work lives. Others, however, may remain in the same role for long periods of time to avoid being exposed to real (or perceived) potential risks to security, identity, and salary.
How to remain employable – and on your own terms
It can be difficult to find the time and energy to proactively manage your own career as a senior doctor or public health leader when you are working in a challenging role with long hours – however, it is important to keep an eye on the future as short term contracts, flexible working, and portfolio approaches to careers are becoming increasingly normal.
Talented employees with in-demand skills in harder-to-recruit areas will be most likely to be able to negotiate the most favorable terms in the future.
There are specific skills you can learn relating to career management – such as being able to articulate your strengths and having clear plans – which will enable you to be agile and adaptable so that you can face an unknowable future career landscape with confidence.
Dr Fiona Day is an expert Leadership and career Coach and Coaching Psychologist, specializing in the leadership, careers, and wellbeing of doctors, and medical and public health leaders. She is a former medical and public health leader, is based in the UK and works internationally. Sign-up to her email list here for free resources, news, and more. You can unsubscribe at any time.