Reality Check – Are You Ready For Your Future?

Your Future

Moving out of the endless search for the familiar past and bellying-up to meeting the challenges of the new workplace is as much a mind-shift as it is a reality-check for all workers – young, old and in-between.

For the past 10 years, I have studied changing demographics, economics and societal shifts as they particularly apply to the revolutionary U.S. workforce. A few of the realities of the emergent U.S. workplace are shared here with you today.

Here are a few of the realities of the emergent U.S. workplace.

No private sector organization will hire you full-time if they don’t need you full time.

Likewise, public sector organizations/institutions cannot afford to ignore pension costs and they too must curb hiring you full-time if they don’t need you full-time.

Temp gigs are booming but, unlike the old days, temporary “jobs” are no longer the harbinger of so-called permanent jobs to come.

Temp jobs today are the way many people work by choice or by necessity. Call this temping; call it free agency; call it project work; call it what you will but know that well over 30% of us work this way today. By the next turn of the decade clock, the number of temp workers is expected to reach 50%.

No large company is any safer than any smaller company in terms of providing job security.

Fortune’s 100 biggest companies, for example, have had more than double the number of layoffs than Fortune’s 100 best companies. What is the lesson?  Security is found in only one place; within you!

No private sector organization will hire you full-time if they don’t need you full time.

No end is in sight for the economic change the U.S. is facing.

The world has changed; the very nature of work has changed and it is these changes themselves that will determine when we will work, how we will work, where and if we will work. You can’t ignore the fact that thousands of U.S. “jobs” have been, (and will be) lost and gained as the result of emerging technologies and global surprises from around the very next corner of time.

Expect more abrupt change and plan for it by paying attention to emerging products and services.  In other words, we all must begin to learn our lessons from the future and to unlearn many of the lessons from our past.

You may not count on yesterday’s competencies and skills to get you to the future.

If you don’t continue to learn, it is unlikely you will continue to earn. Between a million and, some say, two million “open jobs” are not being filled because our competencies/skills fall short of employer’s requirements.

Security is found in only one place; within you!

Jobs themselves, and compensation for all forms of work, are no longer longevity-driven.

In today’s economy, jobs are market-driven by need and competitive value. Study the market. The wind has changed. Learn to adjust your sails and engage in relevant conversations about value in today’s market!

None of us, of any age, can afford to overlook the fact that we are an aging nation.

Put this in perspective: In the U.S. there are more people 65 and older than in each of the entire Canadian and Australian populations. This demographic will double by 2030 from the first year of the 21st century. We cannot sustain ourselves economically if we do not continue to work, in some capacity, later in life, regardless of our age today.

Conducted by the Employment Benefit Research Institute, a recent survey reveals a startling fact: A mere 13% of workers – of any age – are “very confident” when it comes to having enough money to discontinue earning at the mythological traditional age of 65. You don’t have to be one of the rest of the folks.

The likelihood is strong that you will cycle with increasing frequency between various ways to work throughout your working years.

Running your career as your business – not as your job – is the bottom-line of change that we all must embrace.

Your challenge today is to ask yourself just one question… If these changes are true, am I ready for my future?

Art by: lineacurva

Carleen MacKay

1. Mid and Late Career Workforce Expert 2. Emergent Workforce Expert; particular emphasis on alternative career strategies 3. Author/Co-author 4 books (Return of the Boomers, Boom or Bust, Live Smart after 50, Plan “B” for Boomers and multiple products. 4. National Keynoter 5. Product & Service Developer for Organizational Clients 6. Coach Career and Talent Management Professionals in all Sectors of the Economy Carleen is particularly interested in helping to develop products and services for team members who are still active in building their businesses. Major clients/advisory boards include Career Partners International, the talent management company with the largest global footprint (over 200 offices in 26 countries); the San Diego Workforce Partnership, a non-profit that runs multiple One-Stops in San Diego County, The Intergenerational Center at Chaminade University in Honolulu, Hawaii; The Life Planning Network, a national network for professionals in the “over” 50 life space; The San Diego Mature Workforce Coalition.

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