Empowering Young Professionals in a New Era
Denver-based Shelton Capital Management offers new hope to graduates entering the workforce, by reframing the dreaded entry-level job and offering new opportunities.
In the times of the pandemic job market, even recent college graduates entering the workforce have considerable choice as many companies compete to attract and retain talent.
The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified existing issues around wages and working conditions, and the Great Resignation has challenged employers to respond to employee demands for more from their job.
For this new generation of employees, a competitive salary is no longer enough. They expect to find both personal purpose and growth opportunities in their careers. The resulting divide — what Center for the Future of Work calls “The Purpose Gap” — reflects a widening split between what younger generations expect from their employers and what they actually get.
“Colorado’s labor market reflects this new reality, with workers feeling burnout or general job dissatisfaction choosing to pursue more fulfilling roles.”
For many employers, addressing the Purpose Gap continues to be an elusive undertaking with many of them simply missing the mark, as 55.3 percent of recent graduates with a bachelor’s degree or higher left their jobs within a year.
This divergence marks a critical moment for employers, who now must approach recruitment in a more holistic way. This inclusive approach requires that new employees are given the opportunity to engage with all sectors of the business in order to understand the company’s wider purpose and their own role in it. It also means employers need to invest at the outset in employee education and training.
Colorado’s labor market reflects this new reality, with workers feeling burnout or general job dissatisfaction choosing to pursue more fulfilling roles. Exemplifying this recent trend, the state led the nation in the number of people quitting jobs in October of 2021, at an all-time high of 4 percent.
The peak of the quit rate coincided with a notable growth in job openings, facilitating many employees’ transitions to improved working conditions and higher wages. While young professionals are inundated with choice as the number of job openings surge, the pandemic has obscured the already difficult transition from college to the professional world.
For example, many recent graduates have not developed a meaningful grasp of their own professional strengths and weaknesses or even what role would best build upon their existing knowledge and skills because they do not have real-world work experience.
Denver-based Shelton Capital Management, a $4 billion asset manager where I serve as Human Resources and Operations Manager, was not immune to this trend and experienced turnover as the pandemic set in.
“The Shelton Academy can help bridge the gap between academia and workforce by equipping young professionals with a holistic understanding of business in a way they would never get through an entry level job.”
But we worked to address the internal and external factors that were impacted by changing employee expectations, resulting in the Shelton Academy — a program for entry-level candidates that seeks to address the growing demands of job seekers. The program is an 18-month, full-time, paid opportunity for recent graduates interested in starting their career in the financial services industry.
More than simply offering these graduates a foot in the door, Shelton Academy provides its participants with a broad set of skills and hands-on experiences from operations and client service to sales and marketing.
Therein lies the value of our program. Each candidate will split their time between each department in order to not only understand how each segment contributes to the overall success of the business, but also consider which role they excel in and may be interested in pursuing after the completion of the program.
In addition to work experience in each segment of this business, the program also empowers its participants through investing in their education. Those accepted into Shelton Academy will receive resources and training to obtain the FINRA Series 7 and 63 licenses, education necessary for those with the intention of continuing their career in the financial services industry.
The dreaded entry job could be on its way to extinction. Real exposure to a variety of different departments and positions early on in one’s career could be instrumental in empowering young professionals to take control of their future. Investing in programs like the Shelton Academy can help bridge the gap between academia and workforce by equipping young professionals with a holistic understanding of business in a way they would never get through an entry level job.
Amy Grilliot is the Human Resources and Advisor Operations Manager at Shelton Capital Management, a $4 billion Denver-based asset manager.