Taking Control of Your Career in 2024: A New Beginning

by placers on January 5, 2024 in Outside Insights


As we step into 2024, it’s a time for reflection and planning as we work to consider the endless possibilities of the new year. Many New Year’s Resolutions involve honing our skills, new and old, advancing our careers, and nurturing our dreams. Self-improvement is crucial for getting to know ourselves. Understanding our desires and aligning them with our life and career choices go hand in hand.


Last year, my dad, Alan Burkhard, and I launched our book, “Opposite The Crowd.” If you haven’t checked it out, you can find it on Amazon. One key theme discussed in our book is the concept that the workforce is now fully in charge of their careers. But what does that really mean for the average person in 2024?


The world of work and the workforce have evolved over time. From the Industrial Revolution to the Tech Revolution, we’ve seen remarkable changes. In fact, change has been the only constant. The post-pandemic world has brought about significant transformations. Some industries ground to a halt, while others accelerated, such as remote work. And the recent global pandemic accelerated these trends tenfold.The job landscape has seen dramatic shifts, and the supply chain and e-commerce sectors have had their moments in the spotlight. Big data and technology drove a “War for Talent,” and healthcare and hospitality are striving to recover the talent they temporarily lost.


The pace of change in the workforce has been faster in the past few years than in the preceding decades. Amidst this chaos, one thing is clear: you must take charge of your own career. Those who know how to do so hold a significant advantage. Businesses no longer serve as authority figures, setting career paths for the individual. In my opinion, this shift in responsibility is a positive one. We should quarterback every aspect of our lives, including our careers.


In short: “The winner will be the workforce”, a quote from our book Opposite the Crowd. Employers have had control for far too long. They’ve dictated our salaries, work hours, locations, and job descriptions. But history has shown us that employers can’t guide our 50-year careers. Companies change, merge, and fail, and technology drives change faster and faster.


People today desire meaningful work. In our careers, we can expect to have multiple jobs, acquire new skills, and potentially hold job titles that haven’t been invented yet. We yearn for purpose, flexibility, and opportunities for growth. Every generation has a unique perspective on work, and we can learn from Gen Z and Gen Y that there’s more to life than just work. Knowing what makes you happy and what you want from life is as important as the money you earn.


Today, we’re like the cowboys of old Western movies, each with a unique tool belt boasting the skills we’ve acquired. The key is to keep improving these skills, making them transferable to different employers over time.


What does this look like in practice? Take Mary, for instance, a lifelong marketing executive in the financial world who embraces gig work to diversify her skills and explore new industries. She embodies a growth mindset, serving as a change agent, and takes responsibility for her career’s direction.


In the past, companies managed our careers, but that’s changing. Loyalty and tenure are no longer the priorities. Companies must adapt to survive, and even in the safest industries, change is inevitable. We often cling to the familiar, missing opportunities for growth and change.


As employees, we have a unique opportunity, but we need guidance to navigate the new landscape. Employees will increasingly take the lead, interviewing employers rather than being interviewed. Portable skills that can move between companies will become the norm, and flexibility will be a valued benefit.


Managing your own career involves planning, continuous learning, and taking charge of your path. It’s about understanding the “why” and “how” of your career and seeking professional help when needed. We’re entering an era where individuals set their rules, and change presents opportunities.


New industries and services will emerge, and career agents can play a crucial role in helping individuals navigate this dynamic landscape. Investing time in self-improvement, actively participating in your industry, and considering career coaching can make a significant difference.


The world of work was already changing, but the pandemic accelerated and deepened these shifts, creating new opportunities for careers, even if they came in the form of silver linings. Being responsible for your own career means dedicating time to self-improvement and pursuing what you truly want.


Consider updating your resume regularly, but don’t forget to treat managing your career as if it’s a part time job in itself. It’s an investment that pays dividends. Investing in YOU will never be a decision you regret. The world of work is evolving, and it’s up to us to shape our destinies and make the most of the opportunities that come our way in 2024.


What’s on your resolution list for the new year? Reply and let me know — career related, wellness related, or otherwise. By the way, if you are wanting to talk to someone about your career or professional changes you want to make in 2024, click here to talk to someone at Placers.


Here’s to a great 2024, friends.


Our book is now available as a hard copy and Kindle on Amazon. We hope you will check it out here!

If you enjoyed this article, I recommend reading these past Outside Insights posts:

My Holiday Lifesaver (Soon to be Yours)

The Evolution of Sales – Less Push and More Consultative

The Power of Nth Degree Thinking

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Placers provides career coaches, job agents, resume writing, and interview preparation services for job seekers. We are the coach to the workforce.


We have vacant roles at the professional level as well as temporary work, temp-to-hire positions, direct-hire openings, and contract work. We have employment opportunities at all levels that solve employment challenges in the present.


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Placers has been an industry staffing leader for 51 years. Leading is about service. Leaders are positioned to serve. It’s one of our differentiators. It’s our promise to serve.


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