Change happens constantly in the world of work, it seems ever more rapidly. Remember when the Internet and email began to surface in your job function or job search about 10-15 years ago. After that came social networking via Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. It seemed like we all needed to make quantum leaps in our thinking and actions to adjust.
Well, hang on to your laptops because the changes that are coming are going to require forethought in career planning and in job search management. Better to get some advance notice, is my motto. So, here is a list of 10 key new-world-of-work factors, along with some interesting stats, as described in the Time magazine article The Future of Work:
- High Tech, High Touch, High Growth
According to McKinsey & Co. (mega-consulting firm), 85% of jobs created between 1998 and 2006 involved knowledge work, like problem-solving and strategizing. For the next 7 years, the US Department of Labor predicts that IT jobs will grow 24% - twice the normal job-growth rate.
- Training Manager to Behave
Were business management schools the breeding ground for unethical management practices that led to the downfall of the economy? Or was it simply personal greed and bad debt on the part of a few? The debate rages on in this section of the article.
- The Search for the Next Perk
Be prepared - companies are cutting benefits left and right. While companies' healthcare spending rose 29% over the last 5 years, employees have seen their financial responsibility for healthcare increase 40% over that same period.
- We're Getting Off the Ladder
The bottom line for the company is saving money. So if telecommuting can cut payroll costs by 10% and real estate costs by 20% as some studies suggest, then companies may just sign on for this style of workplace management. Certainly reducing hours and unpaid furloughs are already the norm. Similarly, moving employees laterally to fill gaps in the workforce can improve many companies' need for gazelle-like flexibility and responsiveness. The career ladder may become an antique!
- Why Boomers Can't Quit
Again, it is all about the money. The boomers retirement plans have hit a snag in the road with the economic downturn. T. Rowe Price predicts that the oldest of the boomers will have to work nearly 9 more years before they can retire.
- Women Will Rule Business
Research think tank Catalyst found that of the 353 Fortune 500 companies they studied, those with the most women in the senior management team had more than a 30% higher return on equities (ROE). With their collaborative management style, emotional intelligence, higher education levels, and purchasing power, women are positioned to play a major role in management.
- It Will Pay to Save the Planet
The US Conference of Mayors reports there are more than 750,000 green jobs currently in the US, and that green-jobs growth could account for up to 10% of all job growth over the next 30 years.
- When Gen X Runs the Show
A managing partner at Global Lead (consulting firm to companies like PepsiCo) anticipates that by 2019 the Gen Xers will be in charge in the workplace and "big changes" will come. One of the essential elements for managers and leaders will be cultural sensitivity and know-how in managing and motivating multi-cultural, and often virtual, teams.
- Yes, We'll Make Stuff
While the US remains the world's largest manufacturer (according to UN statistics), manufacturing employment has plummeted. Technology has boosted efficiency and workers responded with higher productivity, which resulted in unemployment for many. But jobs involving the absolute need for quality, product safety, or keeping trade secrets will continue to make the US their home.
- The Last Days of Cubicle Life
Here's some good news: commuting to a cubicle 5 days a week to do mundane processing of words or numbers will become a thing of the past, according to author and blogger Seth Godin. He says "most of the best jobs will be for people who manage customers, who organize fans, who do digital community management." "Brilliant designers, energetic brainstormers, and rigorous lab technicians" will also be doing essential work.
Read the full article and consider the implications of this new world of work for both your career and your future job searches. Will this influence your next career move?
Adapting to change is a critical skill and one that needs to constantly be nurtured. Part of that ability is knowledge for sound decision-making. Mull over the changing nature of work and "mine" for the golden nuggets of information that can serve as guides for your career planning.