For those of you here with me today, you’re probably are starting to realize that Today’s Job Market has Changed. People are getting Laid-Off or Fired more frequently, transitioning from one low paying job to another. Millions of people are stuck at the same job for decades at a time, with no idea when they’re going to get that promotion.
For the past 60 years or so, the job market was drastically different than it is today.
“The Old Career Development Process”
In the past, after you graduated, you’d go on the job hunt and land an entry level job position somewhere at the bottom of a big company.
There you would be groomed and mentored for higher positions in the company as you received training and professional development from your employer. As you gained experience, you were promoted, making room for ambitious new graduates to fill the entry level position you left behind.
If you just worked hard, you would continue to move up the corporate ladder. Each step would bring you more responsibility, income and stability. Then eventually, around the age sixty-five, you would step off the top of the corporate ladder with a golden parachute and a gold watch to live out the rest of your life laying on the beach, sipping fruity drinks and working on your tan.
But in today’s job market, everyone is getting stuck somewhere on their way up the corporate ladder. Newly graduated and seasoned professionals are stuck at the bottom… underemployed, underpaid or jobless.
At the same time, men and women in their sixties and seventies, with no pension plan, are staying in or rejoining the workforce in record numbers.
Today, it’s hard for the young people to find a ladder to climb, it’s hard for middle aged people to find a ladder to ascend, and it’s hard for anyone over sixty to step off the ladder and into their golden years.
The traditional career path had ended, along with the professional development the previous generation enjoyed. You can no longer count on employers to pay for training to enhance your communication skills or expand your technical know-how.
The expectation employers have today is that you should be able to do the job you’ve been hired to do when you were hired.
Whether you want to learn a new skill or simply be better at your job you were hired to do, it’s now your responsibility to invest in the time and resources to train yourself.
Companies don’t want to invest in you. Partly because you’re not likely to commit decades of your life at the company, but mainly because it’s cheaper to just hire someone who already has the necessary skills to do the job.
There used to be an unspoken pact between an employee and employer that guaranteed lifetime employment. Employers were loyal to their employees and employees were loyal to their employers.
But in today’s job market… Loyalty is dead.
The end of the traditional career path is caused by two factors. Globalization and Technology.
While many people may be aware of this, I don’t think they realize it’s true impact.
Technology automates jobs that use to require years of knowledge, skills and experience. People think automation only affects low skilled workers, but this affects just about everybody, in every field in every industry…stockbrokers, bankers, lawyers and even doctors are all affected.
If technology doesn’t eliminate your job or reduce your hours, then it will at the very least, it will enable more people from around the world to compete for your job and allow companies to outsource your job to reduce your pay and save them money.
The job market has changed drastically and altered permanently.
Forget what you think you know about the career development process. The rules have changed. The sooner you come to grips with this, the sooner you can start to make the shifts needed and THRIVE.
To thrive in today’s job market requires you to rethink jobs, and use a new set of strategies, skills and tools.
The gap is growing between those who have discovered the shifts required to thrive in today’s new global job market, and those who are still holding onto the old ways of thinking and relying on commoditized skills.
Michelle Huo is the Founder of Wando International a 501c3 non-profit organization that empowers vulnerable women around the world by equipping them with in-demand skills to lift themselves out of poverty so they can focus on what really matters…like family.