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-J. MICHAEL FARR
-J. MICHAEL FARR
LABOR MARKET FACTS
People are changing jobs more now than ever before
More college graduates are now entering the job market
More jobs will require skills in computer and media technology
The economy is becoming more global, more international
The workplace is becoming more diverse
Fewer job opportunities exist in larger corporations
Many new job opportunities now exist in small businesses
Service sector jobs are growing more rapidly
Most jobs are still not advertised
WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD
"Almost everybody will have many careers... 1 in 5 people now change jobs every year. 1 in 10 people change careers or occupations every year... The average person entering the job market can expect almost no security from their employer... Security will have to come almost entirely from the individual... and through self-improvement... Every career-oriented person will have to have many educations... There will be no such thing as a career... There will be many careers in many firms at many locations. The most important thing to prepare yourself for is to change... and to take total responsibility for your continuing education... your own retirement... health care... and life insurance."
-DR. DAVID BIRCH
"Every year, three new technologies emerge as four old technologies become obsolete."
-KIPPLINGER WASHINGTON LETTER
"Millions of American workers today earn a living in occupations that did not exist at the beginning of the 20th Century. Job destruction is occurring in such occupations as railroad employees, telegraph operators, cobblers, switchboard operators and farm workers. Job creation is occurring in such occupations as airline pilots and mechanics, medical technicians, engineers, computer programmers, professional athletes, tv and radio announcers and optometrists."
-MICHAEL COX & RICHARD ALM
"Corporate America is no longer the bastion of security it was in the past... Job seekers have to be entrepreneurial."
"Because business has become increasingly more competitive, companies must do their homework as never before in looking for prospective employees. Every single job applicant must be evaluated not only in terms of technical know-how, but also in terms of how he or she will fit into the culture of the organization."
-KENNETH & SHERYL DAWSON
"People will have to take more responsibility for their careers... assessing their strengths and weaknesses, planning schooling and job paths. The days are gone when just about anyone could step into a lifetime job with regular pay raises, promotions and a good pension at retirement. They will have to be skilled in something that the market needs. Those without something to offer will have a hard time making a living.
Constant upgrading and retraining will be needed by most workers. They'll have to understand the entire business, not just their own jobs. There will be more outsourcing. Temps, part-timers and contract workers will be added as needed, complementing a smaller number of fulltime, long-term company employees.
This means less job security for many workers and often less loyalty. Most employers want to provide security, but they can't be more generous than the marketplace allows. That's why honing a skill is so important. If your job becomes unnecessary, it won't be enough to be a hard worker. You'll need a marketable skill that you can take from company to company. Those who work on sharpening their talents will do all right.
In a downturn, managers will try hard to hang on to their best employees. If skilled workers lose their jobs, they'll be the first hired elsewhere.
Ability to work as part of a team will be essential to success as companies rely on their people to go beyond their narrow specialties.
Technology will revolutionize the workplace in the years ahead. Millions of people will work from their homes, dealing with co-workers, customers and suppliers by computer.
Productivity advances will occur. Using new technology, an Alabama plant makes more steel with 3000 workers than it did 30 years ago with 30,000 workers.
The US will create nearly 14 million jobs through 2010, a slower pace from the previous decade.
The Hispanic share of the workplace will increase 25%. Asians, around 50%. African American will stay about the same. Minorities will keep moving up the corporate ladder. Managers who know how to deal with a diverse workplace will have an edge. Lots of opportunities for women, who now own a third of all US firms and will hold about half of all jobs."
-KIPLINGER WASHINGTON LETTER / WASHINGTON DC 1996
Due to significant changes in the workplace, the worker of the future will necessarily be more self-reliant. The worker of the future will need to be a "self-developing person," "one who uses personal agency," or "one who can adapt to change." The worker of the future will need to be resilient, and adopt an attitude of "positive uncertainty," thereby shedding obsolete beliefs and narrow views of the past in order to develop a future sense.
Consider the profile of such a future worker and note how it reflects basic shifts in thinking and newly evolved modes of action...
Does not feel entitled... Assumes responsibility for the future... Assumes a lifelong learning responsibility... Dismisses obsolete beliefs about work... Does not take any job for granted... Assumes that personal involvement is key to success... Depends on own initiative... Views the future with vision and imagination... Has little fear of change... Can deal with uncertainty and ambiguity... Believes creativity is a basic requirement... Believes good interpersonal relations is an employee's responsibility... Is completely receptive to new ideas... Assumes that there are few guarantees for the future... Assumes that the organization does not owe anyone a career... Cooperates with teams of workers and supervisors... Develops methods to improve effectiveness of job assignment... Exhibits high levels of resourcefulness and imagination... Takes advantage of opportunities to develop skills and increase learning... Develops overview and knowledge of work environment and company purpose... Demonstrates how things can be improved... And assumes total responsibility for career development.
To meet the challenges of the future workplace, careers must be flexible and adaptable, subject to constant change, able to adjust to any new task or situation. Flexible careers are fast becoming the careers of the future and the careers of workers who, being future-oriented, do not define themselves too narrowly.
Utilizing the flexible career model, we see that a career is managed by the person, not the organization. The worker is self-reliant. The worker, assuming him or herself to be self-employed, takes full responsibility for his or her own career development and professional advancement. In the workplace of the future we are all "contract workers." Since a career is a lifelong series of changes and continuous learning, career development is more focused on learning.
As organizations become more dynamic, less static, there is an increasing need for a flexible workforce. Many more positions will be temporary. In fact, the mindset of the self-reliant worker of the future is to approach all jobs as though they were temporary. The number of jobs a person works in a lifetime is increasing. Consequently, the individual is less committed to the company and more committed to his or her career. The career follows the individual from company to company.
Under the new model, the company is less committed to the individual. Employers feel less responsibility for and less loyalty to employees. Job security is no longer an external element but an internal element. Therefore, job security and career advancement are the responsibility of the individual not the organization. In the workplace of the future, advancement is not synonymous with upward mobility. Transition is a desired movement, an opportunity to grow and develop, but it may not always be vertical. Lateral moves are not seen as negative. Gone are the days of climbing the corporate ladder. The old model "career ladder" is replaced by the new model "career lattice."
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