The Changing Employment Landscape: The Next

On Friday, October 14, 2011, more than 250 career professionals from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom met in 15 live and virtual events sponsored by the Career Thought Leaders Consortium. Their objective was to brainstorm best practices, innovations, trends  new programs, new processes, and other observations that are currently impacting, and projected to impact, global employment, job search, and career management. Each event was hosted by a facilitator and sessions were recorded by a scribe. Post-event data was aggregated, evaluated, and was presented in a document of critical findings and forecasts.

Part two of this post discussed considerations for “The New. This is the final post in this series and discusses “The Next” in the changing employment landscape.

The Changing Employment Landscape: THE NEXT

Investing in higher education/grad school may not be worthwhile.

A future consideration in the UK is that of the value in investing in higher education when general salary levels are low and graduate unemployment levels are high (27% of graduates still unemployed after three years). In the US, the trend is toward closely analyzing the payback of an educational investment and time commitment before moving ahead.

Increased international mobility is the norm.

As employment shifts toward regions and jobs that are in high demand, more and more individuals will have international work experience and be willing to relocate globally to find opportunities.

Research supports portfolio careers.

Researchers from Durham University recently stated that the portfolio career approach would be an important future step toward drawing interests together in employment.

Healthcare changes in the US affect employment. Some career professionals foresee a huge exodus from organizations when healthcare policy gets resolved and people are free to move.

Post-retirement careers are on the rise due to a number of factors

including senior debt load, longer lifespan, need to work, political and societal pressure for seniors to still participate in the workforce, and retirees needing activity and a sense of purpose.

“Hiring in The Cloud” is a new term that has arisen in an economy that is not good.

Companies are not hiring full-time employees. Rather, they are “hiring in the cloud,” using contractors through elance.com and other online and offline contracting companies.

Employees must self-promote their skills and talents to be seen as viable candidates for promotion or transition into other types of work within their current company.

When a job title is eliminated, the affected workers must be ready to fill new roles.

Individuals will have a global view of work and understand all the roles one individual can fill.

The worker’s goal will not be lifetime employment, but lifetime employability. Individuals will constantly watch for signs of change, be prepared, and be willing to embrace it.

Skill levels will increase.

The expected average skill levels for employment in London is likely to rise from Level 1 (basic skills) to Level 4 (roughly high school diploma) by 2020. A question arose as to whether over-qualification is rising in the workforce, which is something that we must all watch over the coming years.

Loyalty among graduate employees is falling steeply.

Anecdotes indicate a mismatch for graduates between what they expect from work and what their prospective employers are willing or able to provide.

The rising burden of debt on graduates is a likely driver for a greater vocational focus by the graduate community.

The graduate population will fall as government policy shifts toward broader vocational routes to employment such as apprenticeships and structured work experience programs.

Students begin questioning the value of post-secondary education.

In response to doubt about whether a university education is the only path to a worthwhile career, the website http://www.notgoingtouni.co.uk/ has become a major player in providing careers advice to school leavers. (Note: this is not a government–‐ funded site but was started by a young entrepreneur dissatisfied with the career options presented to him.)

Interest in entrepreneurship grows.

The tight economy increases the “trust gap” between employer and employee with the outcome that employees begin to take more responsibility for their career.

Employees will change jobs more frequently.

It is expected that in the future upturn of the economy, many employees will look to change jobs more frequently, learning new skills with a view toward employability rather than commitment to employers.

The trend is toward more holistic career management from the employer’s perspective.

It was suggested that the employment lifetime process will need to become more holistic to ensure continuity and stability of the workforce. For example, succession planning and talent management will need to become more integrated and career aspirations managed as part of the candidate appraisal processes.

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