The 5 world events that changed job-hunting forever

Here are the 5 events which will impact your job hunting the most over the next 10 years.

The advent of the Internet
The most obvious event that has changed job-hunting is the advent of the Internet.  In the old days people would wait for the Sunday paper and check the classified section to see who was hiring or they’d simply ask their friends and neighbors if they knew of any job openings.  Now, thanks to instant communications and round-the-clock access you can research companies and job-hunt anytime at more than 42,000 job boards and 500,000 corporate web sites.  You can network with total strangers, thousands of miles from home, in your pajamas.


Enron, the dotcom bubble, and ethics
The dotcom bubble burst when investors suddenly realized companies needed to make a profit to stay in business.  In a virtual one-two-punch the scandals at Enron accelerated the changing relationship between employers and employees.  Basic business principles have gone wrong, ethics have been forgotten and profit became the new god.  Employees today do not see their top executives as being people of high integrity.  A post-Enron survey found that 58 per cent of workers thought that top executives were only looking out for themselves.  Business violated the old social contract: ‘Be loyal and we will take care of you’.  Employees feel they are responsible for their own welfare—companies don’t care.   Today’s businesses are increasingly “knowledge-based” and need the active involvement of their employees at a time when there has been huge forced turnover in staff.  Consequently, loyalty is low and involvement uncertain – many people now think like “free-agents.  Clearly this is not your daddy’s company anymore.

The horrific events of September 11th 2001 have changed the face of America.  America has always been seen as a destination for immigrants eager to build a better life, safe from the ravages of war which have plagued Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.   Because of the events of 9/11, immigration has been tightened.   Immigrants bring with them a diverse set of talents, abilities and skills that America will rely on more in the next decade as skill requirements of new jobs rise and our population ages.  For more than 200 years immigration has fueled growth in America and shored up skilled worker shortages.  We suggest the events of 9/11 altered the mix of people America allows into the country and therefore unwittingly slowed the natural growth of the economy.  Some have speculated that this will increase the offshoring of jobs from within all of the G8 nations. 

Retiring Baby-boomers
Just as America is emerging from recession, a major event is poised to erase all the productivity gains of the last few years and cripple growth across every sector of the economy – baby-boomers are retiring in unprecedented numbers.  With 76 million baby boomers heading toward retirement…and only 46 million Generation X players waiting in the wings, America is facing a mammoth talent crunch.   In the very near future, there will be 15% fewer Americans in the 35 to 45-year-old range than there are now. At the same time, the U.S. economy is likely to grow at a rate of 3% to 4% per year.   Who will do the work?

Tiananmen Square
The western world’s reaction to Tiananmen Square has helped to put China on the road to democracy and with it, the opening of the single largest market in the world. Most of China’s one billion people live in conditions not unlike those in the early 1900’s in America.  Shortly there will be a growing demand for everything modern. China will strain the world’s resources in agriculture, manufacturing, energy, transportation, natural resources, education and medicine.   You can benefit by working for those companies who will assist China in designing and expanding their infrastructure.

Compliments of David E Perry and Kevin Donlin. For more creative job search tactics, go to the Guerrilla Marketing for job hunters blog and download the free audio CD.

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