January 12, 2005

A job for life?

Globalisation has, and is destined to being great benefits to all parties involved. In recent times however, the increased prosperity of countries such as India and China has caused great concern amongst many groups fearing for the certainty of their jobs. The growth of such regions should be welcomed in my view.

Itís easy to accuse blue-collar critics of the global marketplace of being luddites, unwilling to make essential short term sacrifices. However, when stories of financial sector work being carried out abroad arise, my state of mind definitely changes. Surely attending a top class university and coming away with a marketable degree would provide guaranteed job security! Itís impossible to know what the future holds, but globalisation and technical progress will surely help eliminate the concept of a Ďjob for lifeí, regardless of our field.

Iíll outline three things employees could keep in mind to help minimise the likelihood of being left in the lurch unexpectedly. Without having had much experience in the workplace, the extent to which the ideas are applicable to different sectors is up for question. Still, theyíre things Iíll be bearing in mind when the world of work finally becomes inevitable.

1.Increase depth of knowledge

In a work environment itís easy to carry out day to day tasks, utilising existing skills, whilst ignoring new developments in the field. Staying current with the state of your companyís market provides an idea of its current health and likely obstacles/opportunities in the future, thus minimising potential for unwelcome surprises. Staying current with new (or older, alternative) technologies and methodologies provides ideas on how additional value can be added to a businessí operations. Clinging to well established or obsolete methods of doing things, due to complacency or laziness, is a sure way to lose any advantage held over fellow employees.

For a salesman, this may involve taking courses on cold calling or persuasion. For someone in the IT sector, this may mean learning a new programming language. For a manager, this may mean consolidating knowledge of managerial styles and theories of employee motivation.

As an employer it makes sense to not only retain, but to reward employees who demonstrate valuable insight into customers/the market and who have skills which arenít easily replaced.

- 2 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. What you're starting to analyse here is a concept known as employability. It does seem to come as a shock that, actually, your degree is no more than a foot in the door of the application process. It's the rest of the package that you offer that will help you to get a job. This might be specific knowledge of your field, but it might equally be experience of chairing meetings, of working in teams, of managing budgets or projects, of building business relationships, of persueding people. And importantly, the ability to give evidence of all of these skills.

    12 Jan 2005, 15:06

  2. >And importantly, the ability to give evidence of all of > these skills.

    Yup, to an extent, employees must act as salesmen for their skills in order to get a desired position. Thanks for the comments. :)

    12 Jan 2005, 20:59

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