Work and careers will change in many ways and across all industries
The days of having a job for life are all but over. What was once a set career in a particular field and even under the roof of the same employer has changed dramatically. Having the same job for years on end is barely possible anymore. It is predicted that most people who enter the job market for the first time in today’s world will not only have more than one job, but more than one career. Analysis shows that a young adult could well have 16 or 17 jobs in their lifetime and across 5 different careers. Is it the end of the gold watch for long and loyal service? It would appear to be.
The continental shift in work and career
The pace of change, the globalisation of industries and their interdependence has brought forward many predicted shifts in employment. As the world becomes smaller and the increase in a global job market means that a career path is not as straight forward as it once was. Instead of competing for a particular role within your own city, the pool of applicants can now include anyone from the entire country and even from overseas. With the advent of the internet, there are now roles that can be performed by someone offshore and often at a lower cost to the employer. There is no minimum wage to adhere to, no sick pay, annual leave, additional outlay in training and the list goes on. The outsourcing of all or part of a workforce is not uncommon. It is especially true for those industries which require skills that are available from the global community.
Which industries will be affected?
It is not always clear which fields of industry will be affected most by the changes in work practices and the growth of new technology. Roles within the digital technology field are ever evolving. Online security issues are always a serious matter and can include;
- Data breaches
- Identity theft
- Phishing scams
- Stealing intellectual property
- Accessing customer information
There is a growing need for roles within a cybersecurity consultancy and network security firm. With the reliance on the internet and connectivity, skills in cybersecurity are an expertise in demand. Other roles may see a different impact on their future prospects. A job that relies on digital communication, such as one within an advertising or digital marketing agency, will see constant change. With the coming of Artificial Intelligence, there is already word of computers being able to produce finished advertisements complete with variations. It is the knowledge that an initial ‘creative’ idea can be developed and taken all the way through to a finished product that has the most serious ramifications for those in the industry. With AI a growing concern across all facets of life, the traditional role of a worker will never be the same. It is the work in the manufacturing industries that has seen the most drastic changes to date.
Working towards a world of less workers
The industrial revolution saw dramatic change in the way goods were produced. With the transition to new manufacturing processes, the world of industry would never be the same. The growth of change in manufacturing has again seen a shift in the roles for workers. As technology continues to adapt and adopt roles done by humans, there is less demand for blue-collar employees. These changes are predicted to bring a greater work threat in the future. According to analysis firm Oxford Economics, by 2030 up to 20 million manufacturing jobs worldwide could see humans replaced by robots. That means a work and career change for a huge number of people in just one field of industry. A similar scenario could play out in the construction industry. Any role which could theoretically be performed by a robot is under threat. An example could be a number of experienced crane drivers being replaced by automated cranes which are able to run 24 hours a day. Changes such as these are already applied in warehousing and logistics environments.
The increased demand for well-trained employees
With the coming of constant and even predicted work changes, there is a growing demand for new forms of training. With the changes to education and access to quality training materials, it is now possible to study, up-skill and be tutored online. The field of Human Resources has embraced this innovation. A higher-learning or educational institution can now offer anything from introductory to leadership and management courses without the need for on-campus attendance. A workplace that is looking for specific training in a wide variety of fields can utilise online materials for their own high performance team development. Any additional resources, such as tutoring, can also be accessed online. This means less time ‘out of office’ and travelling with the ability to modify the program to the work schedules of those involved. With the changes in work and career made from an external force, there is also the ability to harness assets to re-skill oneself for a new role in a new industry. There will always be a demand for a well-trained employee.
A voluntary career change
With many different factors playing their part in how your work and career will change, you can also make that change by choice. Rather than wait for the change in job circumstances to be thrust upon you, there is the often neglected opportunity to re-evaluate where your career path is taking you.
There are a few key questions you can ask yourself, such as;
- What is my current job satisfaction?
- Is there something I have always wanted to try?
- Am I ready for a change now?
- What can I do to make that change?
- Do I have a Career Action Plan?
By addressing these issues and seeking the help and guidance of a professional consultant, you may find that you are closer to your chosen role than you first realised. Knowing that your career will change more than once in your life can actually be inspiring rather than threatening. It’s all a matter of how you look at your road ahead and whether you see opportunities ahead or the regrets of what is left behind.
The work future
No job will be immune from the changes brought about by technological advances. Even the role of a farmer has and will continue to see changes in agricultural practices. Any future career is now one that requires adaptability and constant review. Each advance in technology brings a demand to stay up-to-date with what is happening in your field of industry. The truth is there is no industry that can afford to sit back and watch the world go by.