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  • Writer's pictureGrace Simpson

2024 Trends at Work

Dig into My Thoughts on the Emerging Trends at Work in Careers and Employment for 2024.

2023 was a Surprise!

As we stride into 2024, the world of work continues to transform in often unexpected way, bringing forth trends that redefine career landscapes and professional aspirations. 2023 ended being quite different from what many people thought! Many predicted the continued rise of hybrid/remote work and a market that continued to favour the job-seeker over the employer, however, we ended the year with many employees seeing strong return to office mandates and significant layoffs at many large (especially tech) companies. And we could not end the year without calling out how few predicted the emergence of a widely available generative AI (G-AI) tool (and then more and more tools). Read below as I share some of my predictions for key trends shaping the realm of employment and careers over the next 12 months.

My 2024 Predictions

Secret G-AI in the workplace

With the wide range of G-AI tools now available, both employees and employers see an incredible opportunity to apply G-AI to their work. I expect in 2024 companies will be focused on building or refining their internal G-AI policies. Companies will ask themselves about how comfortable they are with internal company information being fed into external AI tools. They will ask themselves about how they can find the right balance between improving efficiency, maintaining accuracy, reducing bias and being innovative. And they will ask themselves about how they can hire AI-experts to stay ahead in the market.

Employees on the other hand will just go for it. They will scour the web for the best G-AI tools (whether or not the tools align with the existing or non-existent company AI policy). Employees will bring AI-content and creativity to their direct or indirect solutions. They will use G-AI as a brainstorm partner, a slide maker, a rubric creator, a report writer, a report editor and so much more. I expect companies will turn a blind eye to this 'secret AI usage' from employees as the company learns in real time about what works and does not work for their own comfort level based on the results and positive and negative impact seen.

The battle for talent goes internal

In 2023 we saw many organizations layoff talent and therefore become more cautious in re-opening up hiring. So what this means is that managers who want (or need!) to grow or maintain their teams, often the only option to replace employees is through internal movement. Internal movement means many things - think of a re-organization of the department, a consolidation of de-centralized teams or an internal open requisition. What all of these options have in common is managers within the same company are battling for the same internal talent.

So, if you are a hiring manager or an employees, what does this mean for you? Well, it means you should have more coffee chats with internal employees/teams you are interested in to create a pipeline of potential talent. It also means you should really consider the unique value you can offer. For example, as a manager, you may be able to offer a unique project to an employee, the opportunity to work more flexibly, or an incredible mentor. As the employee, you may be able to bring a broader perspective to the team or a missing skillset. Internal movement can be a big win for the employee and for the employer, but just note that while this type of movement can often be incredible to build new skills, it is typically not so incredible for a financial increase.

Wish list: Transforming the interview process

If anyone has been a job seeker in the last few years, then they have likely noticed how out of control the interview process has become. Companies are having candidates go through anywhere from 3-12 interviews. Candidates are writing in-depth sample reports. They are being asked to complete virtual or in-person simulations or lengthy code tests, or answer upwards of 12 questions about their prior experience and how they would approach potential future job situations. Job seekers will invest anywhere from dozens to hundreds of hours into finding their next career with most of their effort resulting in no direct result. The demand on job seekers is significant and let's not forget that it is a true privilege to take time off your current job (your paid job!) to do (unpaid) labour to find your next job. Many people are in a position where this is not feasible (E.g. limited time off work, scheduling conflicts, childcare and family priorities, distance, etc.).

In 2024, my wish list item is to see candidates push back on the interview process and employers to respond by inventing new mechanisms and approaches to identify the right talent by leveraging existing data and dramatically reducing the burden put on the job seeker. This feels like a wish because it is a big change from the way the recruitment process has worked for a long time. And since the burden falls mainly to the job seeker vs. the company (meaning a lot of the true time cost is hidden), the incentive for the company to transform this process is more altruistic than other work that could be prioritized. Fingers crossed!

Let's see!

let's see how accurate my predictions were at the end of the year. In the midst of these evolving trends, the future of careers rests upon continuous learning, adaptability, and a proactive approach to embracing change. But, whether you're a seasoned professional or just starting your career journey, staying abreast of these trends and honing the skills required in this dynamic landscape will be key to thriving in 2024 and beyond.

Remember, Grace on Careers is here to support you on your professional journey, offering guidance, insights, and inspiration as you navigate these exciting yet transformative trends in the world of work. Here's to embracing the future with confidence and grace!

Stay tuned for more tips, career insights, and strategies to help you succeed in this ever-evolving professional sphere.

Ps. Chat GPT3 helped me write this article! I provided the topic and took the outcome and significantly modified and supplemented to make it my own!

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