(The Daily Dish) –The American workforce seems to be in transition where people are making huge career changes, while employers try to hold on to their staff. How does one navigate this changing world? Raghu Krishnaiah, Chief Operations Officer at the University of Phoenix joined the show to explain what social capital is and why is it important to career advancement.

Social capital refers to the built-in network of connections that individuals have and have developed throughout their lives It could be from their families their churches their colleges or even where they work.

Social capital is about the connections we forge throughout our lives. But also more importantly it’s about having mentors and advocates who can help advise you along the way to improve your career. At the University of Phoenix, they ran a survey about America’s personal career perceptions and something they call the career optimism index.

To start, they asked questions about an employees current view of their career as well as their future view, their career, their future prospects, and what they found was that nearly 80% of Americans show that they were hopeful about the future of their careers despite everything that’s going on today in their lives. But about 40% needed to figure out how to get figure out the path forward to get there.

Social capital is one of those ways that people can really help advance their careers and move forward. So, how does someone gain the network and skills needed to create long-term success? Raghu said there were two things to focus on.

Continue to build that social capital. Look for people in your networks that can act as trusted advisors or a mentor for you and continue to expand those networks that you currently have. The other thing always continues to learn, always be learning and building new skills.

The University of Phoenix has a long history of helping students and alumni throughout their entire career journey in both aspects. They have a lot of you know learning opportunities from degrees to other ways alternative programs that people can help and learn. In one such example, Raghu mentions that it’s really hard to find tech talent and a lot of people want to go and become and join the tech workforce.

The University of Phoenix has developed an apprenticeship program with just eight short weeks of training. during this time, people develop the skills they need, and then when they’re in the job they can continue to learn and build those skills while getting mentorship as well to continue to advance in their career.

One of the things that the career optimism index also showed us is that 80% of workers today are always looking for ways to expand their skills. In another survey, for those people that have mentors, 9 in 10 said they were happy in their job when they had a mentor. These are two great ways employers can help retain employees. They can help first of all develop mentorships and mentor programs for individuals and their employees And secondly ensure that they’ve got skills that they can continue to learn and develop and build and grow.

Visit The University of Pheonix to learn more.

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