I am an amature futurist. What is a futurist? A futurist is not a fortune-teller. A futurist studies trends and tries to envision how those trends will affect the future. In my case, I visualize how trends in the workplace will affect our future careers.
Why is it important to understand workplace trends? If you were born during the millennial generation years (roughly the last two decades of the Twentieth Century), you likely were blindsided by the Great Recession of 2008-2009. You followed your parent’s advice, got a good education but were not able to find that career job that would provide your lifelong security.
The Job Market Has Changed
The job market had changed and what worked for your parents and grandparents no longer worked for you.
Companies were no longer hiring workers. They were contracting with temp agencies to rent employees to do a specific job. Unions perfected the hiring hall in the twenties. I was raised during the thirties. My neighbor was a longshoreman. He would go to the hiring hall in the morning. If a ship was in, he worked. If not, he came home. Temp agencies have finessed the hiring hall with agencies for Rent-A-Cop and Your-Maid-Service. If your temp service had cleaning work to do, you worked, If not, you starved.
In the 60s almost all hotel employees were direct hires. Unions were strong and wages were good. Today, most of the people you see in hotels are hired by temp organizations and are paid at minimum wage.
Adapt Or Fall Behind
Unless you recognize those trends and learn how to adapt to today’s economy you may be relegated to a life on the edge. Never stop learning. Become an expert in one thing. Be curious. Become good at many things that complement your expertise. Being entrepreneurial can be risky depending on your job environment. Your boss may want you to do your job and only do what you are told.
You can never live up to your potential in such an environment.
If you can talk to your boss about ways you would like to expand your job, do so. If your boss is not receptive to your ideas let everyone know what you want to do and how you think you might be able to help the company grow. It is a dangerous strategy, so use discretion. People get fired for being too entrepreneurial.
If there is no room for growth in your current job, stay as long as you’re learning and growing. When you are dead-ended find a new job with more potential.
Your options are to find new opportunities or shut up, keep a low profile and do what you must do.
I believe everyone should have a side business to fall back on when they get fired. Be careful. Not all employers look positively at side jigs. Know your employer’s policies, written and unwritten. You may have to hide what you are doing on the side.
Be careful what you put on social media. Social media can highlight your accomplishments and expertise but it can also make you unemployable.