The job market has undergone a major upheaval. A lot of people are blaming new employment trends on the recession, but the recession was more of an accelerant than a cause. The job crisis was already brewing; the recession simply shoved it unceremoniously into the spotlight. (See our post on Defining the New Job Market.) Just as the birth of the Computer Age and the Industrial Revolution before it made many work skills obsolete and required that workers learn a new set of skills; today’s changing employment scene is necessitating the development of a new skill set. Trapped between the rising Digital Age and the globalization of the job market, workers are going to have to embrace a totally new work dynamic.Globalization

Stable, long-term career jobs are fading fast. Instead of a straight climb up the ladder, workers should expect to paddle along in an increasingly fluid work environment. New employment trends are toward self-employment, short-term contract work, multiple career paths and multiple income streams. The clever Staples commercial that shows “Dave” manning every aspect of his business from sales to shipping to IT repairs presages the future. Many people are already working as their own boss, and more workers will be joining them in the not so distant future. The switch from employee to self-employed in the Digital Age is going to require some adjustment and a new catalog of skills. Here’s what employment experts say to expect:

  • Limited opportunities and increased global competition will force workers to tap into multiple skills, augmenting traditional work skills with hobbies, talents and special interests. The “Slash” career (think, accountant/chef) will become the norm.
  • Services will be sold and bought globally. Your clients will be as likely to live on the other side of the world as down the street.

To be continued