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Adapt to thrive
in today's
business climate

In record time, technological innovations have changed the business of, well, doing business. Those who evolve right alongside it are positioned to thrive and succeed in this new era.

Business as usual? There’s no such thing in today’s mile-a-minute economic climate. Technology—and the global transparency it facilitates—has changed the way we do just about everything.

Today’s fast and furious innovations have resulted in an economy that is poised to add 15.6 million jobs between 2012 and 2022, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. This reflects a 1-percent annual rate of increase, which is five times stronger than the 0.2-percent rate of increase during the 10 years prior.

Many business sectors will be impacted by job growth. From accounting and hospitality to management and small business, savvy business professionals are keeping a close eye on the following trends so they can stay relevant in their organizations, fields and industries.

Intrapreneurs make their mark

When the entrepreneurial spirit meets business, intrapreneurs are born. Traditionally, entrepreneurs are regarded for their curiosity, creative thinking, tolerance for risk, and willingness to do whatever it takes to see their dreams to fruition. Most often, entrepreneurs are associated with mom-and-pop shops or startups that are lean and nimble.

However, intrapreneurs bring this same approach to their jobs in the corporate world, where their unrestrained way of thinking—coupled with room to work independently—can result in the next big product or service for their employers. These opportunities are a great option for entrepreneurs who want the stability that a salaried job with an existing company offers.

According to Ruth Veloria, executive dean for the University of Phoenix® School of Business, it’s an important trend. “Companies are hiring innovative employees with entrepreneurial skills and putting them on project teams where they’re not weighed down by process and bureaucracy,” she says.

It’s one that open-minded employees can get in on, too, if they’re willing to explore new ideas, own the process of trial and error, and take risks along the way in order to succeed.

The right candidates for these positions, which include product development managers, business development directors and program managers, need to possess strong communication and interpersonal skills so they can garner the trust of their superiors and gain the freedom to create. When they do, it’s a win-win for both the employee and the organization.

The business of looking good

Technology also has created an environment in which there’s nowhere to hide from public opinion. Anyone with a smart device and Internet access can let the world know what they think of a business, and consumers are paying attention. Many wouldn’t dream of parting with their money for a product or service without first checking online reviews from the likes of Amazon®, Yelp®, TripAdvisor® or countless other ratings websites. The Sodexo 2015 Workplace Trends Report confirms this, noting that $3.6 trillion in retail sales are influenced directly by social media and online reviews.

Consumers also care about businesses’ commitment to conducting themselves responsibly. In recent years, you’d be hard-pressed to find a large company that isn’t touting its dedication to protecting the environment, engaging in humane labor practices and tending to its employees’ pursuit of work-life balance.

Reputation management and corporate social responsibility have become embedded in the fabric of business operations over the years and are here to stay. What does this mean for the job market?

This focus on public opinion creates opportunities for qualified individuals to fill positions that focus on cause marketing, corporate citizenship, corporate philanthropy, community development and environmental sustainability. A recent query on job search portal CareerBuilder.com yielded more than 3,000 positions in “reputation management,” including social media managers, public relations consultants, mobile marketing specialists, communications directors and even a position called “trust officer.”

It’s an expectation that every business plan have a social responsibility component. It’s important to consumers, and can mean careers for employees.  

Though the landscape of business today may seem a bit foreign and fluid to some employees, those with an open attitude can find ample room to grow and succeed. For those willing to be nimble and adapt to evolving market demands, the opportunities are wide open in the business world.

For more information about each of these programs, including on-time completion rates, the median debt incurred by students who completed the program and other important information, please visit phoenix.edu/programs/gainful-employment.