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Posted 1.28.16

Karie Willyerd, DM '03

Stretch by Willyerd and MistickKarie Willyerd, DM '03, and Barbara Mistick, DM '03, are the co-authors of the recently published book, Stretch: How to Future-Proof Yourself for Tomorrow's Workplace

Reviewed by Financial Times and Library JournalStretch shows how to prepare for an unknown future, be fully engaged, and stretch to the next level to avoid becoming obsolete at work.

The number one workplace concern of all employees, from Millennials to Baby Boomers, is fear that their skills will become obsolete. Job seekers, 20-year company veterans, entrepreneurs, and career professionals alike understand that the world of work is changing. Researchers are predicting nearly 47% of jobs are subject to replacement by technology. But people don’t have the tools to know how to extend their shelf life. Until now.

Karie Willyerd and Barbara Mistick, established award-winning experts in the field of personal development and learning, set out to research how changes in the global economy, technology and shifting demographics will impact the employment marketplace. Their massive global study (in collaboration with SAP and Oxford Economics) surveyed employees and employers to uncover insights that will help both prepare for the future.

Grounded in this original research and written in a friendly and accessible tone, STRETCH identifies Five Practices that make it possible for anyone to advance in a skills market where nothing else is steady:

  1. Learn on the fly in any situation. Acquire tools to learn in the context of your job. Avoid the most significant learning traps people fall into during their careers.
  2. Open your thinking to a world beyond where you are now. Develop the ability to see and embrace opportunities in new ways and to identify small and large decisions you can make to move your career forward. Assess whether you have a growth or fixed mindset.
  3. Connect to the people who can help you make your future happen. Discover multiple strategies for building a network and when to use each one depending on your type of job and your personal style. Identify your “five to thrive” – five people who will give you the insight and confidence to continue to grow.
  4. Be greedy about gaining experiences. Grab meaningful career opportunities that will develop your capabilities both inside and outside the confines of your job. Make the best of a bad boss and ensure your good boss isn’t leading you into complacency.
  5. Bounce forward and stay motivated through the ups and downs of a career. Resilience, motivation and grit will help you see setbacks as part of a growth process toward bouncing forward.

Acquiring these fundamental practices will allow you to reposition your capabilities to be applicable to any job in any marketplace, no matter how things change. Discover the capabilities you need in an ever-changing workplace and predictions for the future of work. STRETCH comes complete with practical assessments and tools for career-oriented people, while employers and managers will benefit from case studies and examples from organizations working to help people stay current. Your career options will expand and your marketability will never bear the stamp of an expiration date.


Interested in learning more about Weatherhead programs? Request more information or apply now, or register for one of over 70 open enrollment courses through Executive Education.

Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University cultivates creativity, innovation, and purpose-driven leadership to design a better world.

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