- Lifelong employability
Strive to be employable-to have the skills that employers value-so you
can find work easily even if you are laid off. Do not expect to have
lifelong employment, especially with one company.
Appreciate and work with cultural differences. Employers value this skill
because the labor market has more women, older people and people of
different races and ethnic groups than ever before.
- Computer skills
Develop strong computer skills and update them regularly. Every industry
requires workers who do.
- English, math and science
Develop strong math, science and communication skills. Employers always
need people with these.
- Customer service
Always demonstrate a positive, helpful attitude toward customers,
supervisors and coworkers. Employers value this attitude because gaining
and maintaining customers is crucial, especially in a weak economy.
- Economy awareness
Pay attention to the local, national and global market. Jobs are created
and destroyed because of technological advances, the economy and
corporate restructuring. Prepare for it.
- Continuous learning
Constantly upgrade your skills. Employers want to know what you learned
recently, not what degree you earned ten years ago.
Find employers who will help train you. Since the price of college and
technical education will continue to rise faster than inflation, this
academic help is valuable.
- Flattened wages
Be aware that many organizations are willing to replace long-term
employees with younger, less-expensive workers. This practice has kept
- Doing what you love
Focus on work that fulfills and interests you once you begin long-term
career planning. Since job security does not exist, you might as well
enjoy what you do while you can do it!
- Not just 9-5
Be aware of the pressure to work long hours. Flextime, telework and cell
phones have blurred the lines between work and home. Today, Americans
work more hours than people do in any other industrialized country do.
- Employer as client
Embrace the new relationship employees have with employers, one that
resembles a professional athlete's free agency: "I'll provide my
knowledge, skills and abilities in exchange for wages and benefits as
long as it suits both of us. The relationship ends when one of us wants
out or the contract expires."
- High turnover
Expect to have many jobs and perhaps several different careers over a
lifetime of work. The career ladders of old no longer apply, which means
you have to make your own decisions about what sort of career path (and
therefore training) you need.
- Contingency workforce
Realize that you may become part of the temporary and contract
workforce, now the norm at many companies. That means you will have lots
of flexibility but few benefits and absolutely no security.
Prepare yourself to compete with people worldwide for certain jobs.