IT Employment

Four mega trends making your life harder

John McKee doesn't paint a rosy picture for American employees. He says that in most industries, and in all locations, U.S. workers and leaders are going to feel the impacts of four mega trends. Here are those trends.

 Winners and Losers Status Report:

- There are now 3.2 million fewer jobs in this country than in 2000.

- 1 in 5 US workers have been laid off since 2004.

- About 15 million workers are unemployed or underemployed because they can't get a job

like they've had in the past.

And the evidence indicates that, very likely, the worst is yet to come.

I believe that, in the near future, people at all levels are going to find it harder than ever to have a successful, fulfilling career. In most industries, and in all locations, U.S. workers and leaders are going to feel the impacts of four mega trends:

1. Those who depend on decision tree logic are in trouble. It doesn't matter what occupations either. Even if you're in medicine, marketing, law, accounting, IT, or any other role considered previously to be safe from economic effects; you're at risk if you use decision tree logic to do your job.

Others, those who are doing more "creative" work, or doing in-person jobs, remain fairly safe at this stage. It's still pretty hard for software to reproduce creative thinking.

2. Change will occur much more quickly in the business communities.

Everyone knows that several countries of Asia are continuing to take market share away from the U.S. , and other western countries are using better trained and less expensive approaches.

However, if you were to travel to Brazil or East Germany you'd see that countries in South America and Eastern Europe are moving quickly to get a slice of the action in manufacturing, customer service, and even hi-tech. With younger workers, and good schools, they all want in on the action dominated up till now by North America and Europe to a great extent.

It's going to much harder for most individuals to maintain a good standard of living in the older countries like the US, or France, or England.

3. Leadership demands will become greater. And you thought it was tough now!

As world markets come more into everyone's jobs and lives we will experience working in organizations with:

- more distance between team members (locations and telecommuting)

- cultural differences (international teams with different backgrounds)

- demographic challenges between countries (no longer just

Babyboomers, GenXers, and Millennials as new, younger groups

are showing up)

- continuous upgrading required (new tools, new methods)

4. More frequent job / employment changes. Most people will have seven or eight jobs of

about five years each. This as:

- companies appear and disappear more frequently

- corporate ownership changes result in other changes such as leadership style,

vendors + technology used, locations of home offices switch countries

- uniligualism is unacceptable

And, if you think a change of president or shifts in Congress will stop these trends, you are wrong. In a global marketplace, the U.S. can no longer control every game, every time. We are far too interwoven into the worldwide economy to change the rules and "fix" everything.

Act accordingly.

john

Leadership Coach

About

John M. McKee is the founder and CEO of BusinessSuccessCoach.net, an international consulting and coaching practice with subscribers in 43 countries. One of the founding senior executives of DIRECTV, his hands-on experience includes leading billion d...

29 comments
mackmcrae_gmail.com
mackmcrae_gmail.com

This is like much of the recent tech republic BS. The figures are nonsense. For example, here's a link with the number of employed people in the US. ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/special.requests/lf/aat1.txt Employment since 2000 has risen from 143 million to 153 million. Not great, but not a loss as discussed in this post. The rest of the "statistics" are wrong, misquoted, out of context or nonsense.

joekbarrett
joekbarrett

John McKee Brings up some interesting points, many of which I disagree with. The problem we will face however is not the lack of jobs with in 10 years but finding (qualified) people to do them with the baby bommers retiring. And I too question his stats on the level of Unemployment and layoofs. Sounds like a messanger from the Democratic camp.

Dr_Zinj
Dr_Zinj

Mexico: too many drug lord killing and kidnapping to make me comfortable. Columbia: ditto Rest of South America: the people are nice, the governments are just as or more unfriendly as the U.S. Middle East countries: I really, Really, REALLY dislike deserts as a place to live. Especially when people shoot at you. Asia: Pollution worst than LA at it's prime. And the crowds! No thanks. Europe: Cold, damp, too crowded. Africa: Humans evolved from there. So did most human diseases. Except for a few places, most of Africa is the pits.

libskrap
libskrap

the info, analysis, and presentation were absurd, but the title was catchy. Nice title!

Brad!
Brad!

The survey is aimed at Americans. How many non-Americans have answered it? Also - why won't the author post his sources? Or, why won't TechRepublic confirm their are sources for the stats?

ldnbg
ldnbg

East Germany?!?

lastchip
lastchip

Someone who has worked out protectionism is a lost cause. Welcome to the real World. Here in the UK, we "suffered" this transition a while back and I can assure you all, it isn't easy. The fact remains, other parts of the world are dominating manufacturing and in some areas the service industry as well. We all have to learn to live with that, and adjust our economies to react to that scenario.

TomZnaper
TomZnaper

With regard to relocating: I work in the IT dept of a large multi-national. Many of my co-workers are from India. Quite a few have said they would go back to India if they had problems finding employement in the U.S.. Many, if not all, plan to return to India at some point even though most have U.S. citizenship or green cards.

OnTheRopes
OnTheRopes

Most people would relocate to another country. I'm not even going to start the debt cycle all over again by moving anywhere else. Period. You want fries with that?

techrepublicsucks
techrepublicsucks

Please provide the sources you used to support the statements that you have made.

panzrwagn
panzrwagn

Sounds like you have visited most of these places vicariously through right-wing sound bites. I know a lot of uncrowded european areas, and with a broadband connection, high-speed trains and cheap internal EU airfare getting around is easier than the US. Mexico has a lot of ex-pat communities, and even Tijuana has housing developments targeted at Americans who commute cross-border daily. Want me to go on?

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

There are always a few TR members who are job hunting :-)

IAmLegend
IAmLegend

The author didn't even mention our current economic problems. The bursting of the housing bubble is spreading to the broader economy. We are facing a deep and prolonged recession that our fearless leaders are for the most part afraid to discuss, what with the upcoming election season. This is going to get ugly. Corporations will respond with a frenzy of layoffs and offshoring. There will be massive government bailouts at taxpayer expense. This corporate entitlement mentality of socialization of risk should give one pause.

g_machuca
g_machuca

Sources!?!?!? Step outside your door/country and you'll see them for yourself. I'm in England and totally agree. I've not only had to change jobs frequently (every 4 years or so) but also careers, I'm on my 3rd career change (electrical engineer, automation sales, now IT). I've had to ... just to keep up!!! To get ahead?? ... little to next to no hope. Changes catch up with you THAT quick!!! Here we've been taught that there's no such thing as a job for life. Out of Uni and think that you'll do the same job/career for the rest of your life, mmmmm?? Wake up and smell the coffee, it's not going to happen.

wynnsb
wynnsb

He posted the same stats in a 3 JUL 08 post. I'd like to see the sources, too. I didn't get them then either. According to the Bureau of Labor Stats, the current civilian labor force is ~146M. DEC 00 it was ~138M (the highest employment month of 00). That is an increase of 8M jobs.

santeewelding
santeewelding

When you lick your own finger and hold it to the air. Try it.

lastchip
lastchip

That's a loaded question. The point I was making, is that America, even allowing for the size it is, cannot insulate itself from the rest of the World. At least, not unless it wants to die a very slow death. Other parts of the world are waking up to what wealth for the masses means and they want some of it. At the moment, most have distinct cost advantages, that neither the USA, or most of Europe can compete with. So we have to be innovative and apply our skills in areas other countries cannot match. Perhaps for example, that might be leading edge research or some other discipline. Simply putting up trade barriers is only (at best) a short term distraction and will not (IMHO) offer any long term solution. If I had all the answers, perhaps I'd be Prime Minister here, or the President the other side of the pond. On second thoughts, I'd probably do something much more worthwhile with my life ;-)

gwzap2008
gwzap2008

Look, here's a link that paints an even darker picture from the AP: http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D8OKGR480&show_article=1 I guess you have to believe it only when it's you have to start looking for a job. The sad thing is neither candidate has a serious plan for big issues here causing unemployment: Nothing is stopping these American Companies from selling their employees out and moving to Mexico or China.

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

...posting stats without at least a mention of the source is questionable, at best. One may even say something like: 1 in 3 Americans own a gun 2 in 3 Americans tend to run in zig-zag patterns 3 out of 3 Americans wish they were Chuck Norris 4 out of 3 Americans say illegal immigration is an issue to be considered in the presidential election Is any of that less valid than what was written in the article???

Bizzo
Bizzo

So my relationship with the company is purely platonic? So why do I feel like I'm being screwed every day? :D

wdewey@cityofsalem.net
wdewey@cityofsalem.net

The article focuses on the decline in manufacturing jobs not total jobs. Doesn't really touch any other sectors. "Even though manufacturing jobs have been declining, the country is enjoying the lowest average unemployment rates of the past four decades. The reason: the growth in the service industries?everything from hotel chambermaids to skilled heart surgeons." "While manufacturing jobs have declined, manufacturing output has been rising. The difference is increased productivity, which means it takes fewer workers to make more goods. " Part of the reason manufacturing jobs have been declining. Probably from automation and improved processes. "High-tech industries, where the U.S. is still seen as having the edge, include pharmaceuticals, medical devices and airplanes." Said something about increased competition after this quote. I don't see how this paints a bleaker picture than the tech republic article. Bill

g_machuca
g_machuca

Yep, it's happening e-ve-ry-where. As employees sadly we grow and 'emotional' attachement to our work place (our work buddies), and some, to the company we work for. But its only a platonic relationship. To our employers, we're are only a profit centre and a line of revenue. If we become expensive or their profits not as good, we are 'let go'. There's nothing emotional about money. Money doesn't care about families and livelyhood ... just like greed ... and drugs.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

I had to save this one. It sounds like a bad outtake from Reefer Madness or any other "scare" flick of that last hundred years. "uncle Al" Gore could have written it...that's the truly scary part.

Bizzo
Bizzo

Whwnever I hear about "statistics", I often think of this: DOCTORS SAY: "BREAD IS DANGEROUS" Research on bread indicates that 1. More than 98 percent of convicted felons are bread users. 2. Fully HALF of all children who grow up in bread-consuming households score below average on standardized tests. 3. In the 18th century, when virtually all bread was baked in the home, the average life expectancy was less than 50 years; infant mortality rates were unacceptably high; many women died in childbirth; and diseases such as typhoid, yellow fever, and influenza ravaged whole nations. 4. More than 90 percent of violent crimes are committed within 24 hours of eating bread. 5. Bread is made from a substance called "dough." It has been proven that as little as one pound of dough can be used to suffocate a mouse. The average American eats more bread than that in one month! 6. Primitive tribal societies that have no bread exhibit a low incidence of cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, and osteoporosis. 7. Bread has been proven to be addictive. Subjects deprived of bread and given only water to eat begged for bread after as little as two days. 8. Bread is often a "gateway" food item, leading the user to "harder" items such as butter, jelly, peanut butter, and even cold cuts. 9. Bread has been proven to absorb water. Since the human body is more than 90 percent water, it follows that eating bread could lead to your body being taken over by this absorptive food product, turning you into a soggy, gooey bread-pudding person. 10. Newborn babies can choke on bread. 11. Bread is baked at temperatures as high as 400 degrees Fahrenheit! That kind of heat can kill an adult in less than one minute. 12. Most American bread eaters are utterly unable to distinguish between significant scientific fact and meaningless statistical babbling. In light of these frightening statistics, it has been proposed that the following bread restrictions be made: 1. No sale of bread to minors. 2. A nationwide "Just Say No To Toast" campaign, complete celebrity TV spots and bumper stickers. 3. A 300 percent federal tax on all bread to pay for all the societal ills we might associate with bread. 4. No animal or human images, nor any primary colors (which may appeal to children) may be used to promote bread usage. 5. The establishment of "Bread-free" zones around schools.

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

...I understand the problems with illegal immigration all too well!!! ;)

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

You are one of the 7 out of 6 Americans who say they don't understand fractions! ;)