10 Global Trends That Are Killing Your Career

Failure to Adapt to the New Working World Will Leave You in the Unemployment Line by 2020

Times Are Changing

While the year 2020 may feel futuristic, in reality it’s just around the corner.

Will your career be prepared to fly into orbit, or will it stall on the ground? We’re predicting 10 global trends we believe will shape the future workforce. In addition, we’ll share tips and hints that help you plan for and respond to these trends. Read on to make sure you’ll be considered relevant and not a relic.

10. Global Talent Seeking

As countries continue to invest in emerging economies — specifically those in Russia, China, India, Brazil, and Africa — and as technology broadens the talent pool, people will be expected to work with others from around the world. Key skills include knowledge of foreign languages and cultures, and a willingness to consider and accept new approaches.

Career killers: Inability to get along with, accept, or understand people from different cultures; being set in one’s ways; adhering to stereotypes.

9. Mixed Generations

The timing of a turbulent economy, combined with longer life spans, means people are waiting longer to retire. By 2020, it’s predicted the average age of retirement will be 70.

Jeanne C. Meister and Karie Willyerd, authors of The 2020 Workforce: How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop, and Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today, say that by the year 2020, the typical workforce will include five generations — Baby Boomers to recent college grads. Those who retained Kindergarten lessons of getting along well with others will be in high demand.

Career killers: Lack of flexibility and inability to integrate with those from different generations.

8. Millenial Invasion

According to a recent study done by Mercer, in 2020 40% of the workforce will be comprised of “Millenials,” people born after 1980. Many of these Millenials will hold leadership roles, and will expect others to subscribe to their value systems, beliefs, and behaviors. Workers who are successful working with teams, who are up on the latest tech, and who have plenty of innovative ideas and solutions, will do best in a Millenial environment.

Career killers: Lack of flexibility, integrity, and/or entrepreneurism; inability to keep pace with new expectations regarding speed and technology.

7. Mobile Workforce

Thanks to an increasingly global economy and supporting technology, 2020’s workforce will be on the move.

Work will be done less “in the office” and more whenever and wherever it gets done — in a satellite office, at home, on the commuter train, or in a coffee shop. While this may initially seem more convenient, workers should be ready to bid adieu to 9-5 and say hello to ‘round the clock workdays.

Career killers: A commitment to punching out at 5 and being unwilling to “integrate” work and life. If you won’t take work calls at your child’s soccer game, you might not make it in 2020.

6. Technology As a Way of Life

Today, we’re still at the point where emerging technology is new and “cool.” By 2020, it will be an accepted way of life, and just the way we get things done. But don’t expect more time as a result. As technology allows organizations to get things done faster, more accurately, and more efficiently, mere humans will be expected to keep pace.

Career killers: Unwillingness/failing to keep up to date on the latest technology; inability to keep up with a more rigorous pace; and unwillingness to work longer or less traditional hours.

5. Environmental Awareness

As more organizations and individuals commit to being green, behavior toward work will change. With rising costs of gas seeing no end in sight, efforts will be made to reduce time and money spent on travel (including commuting), and work that can be done at home will be. Workers will enjoy their employers’ more relaxed attitude about time, but will also need to be self-motivated and self-disciplined.

Career killers: Inability to work alone; poor time management; lack of independence.

4. Social Responsibility

According to a list generated by the Society for Human Resource Management, corporate social responsibility is one of the hottest emerging workplace trends.

As companies shift to a broader worldview, employees will be expected to develop opportunities for social responsibility, integrate them into business strategy, and articulate the impact of corporate social responsibility on the organization, the industry, and the world.

Career killers: Not making social responsibility a priority in both your personal and work lives. Organizations will look for those who can make an impact and walk the walk.

3. Rising Cost of Healthcare

The rising cost of healthcare will lean toward unsustainable, and organizations will look to control costs through wellness programs, health risk appraisals, and penalties for smokers. Expect increased background checks and health screenings that may occur pre-employment or post-offer.

Career killers: While there won’t be discrimination based on illness or disability, a growing number of organizations may refuse to hire people who make lifestyle choices that affect their health, such as smoking.

2. An Ever-Changing Economy

When it comes to the economy, the only thing we can count on staying the same is change. Entrepreneurial employees who can rapidly adapt to unforeseen change have the best chances of keeping their organizations afloat, and will be highly valued.

Career killers: Difficulty adapting to new and challenging situations; inability to meet tests and trials; lack of inspiration or innovation.

1. Talent Shortages

According to the Employment Policy Foundation, a growing economy and retiring Baby Boomers will leave a labor shortage of 35 million workers by the year 2020. Organizations will focus more effort than ever on recruiting and retaining skilled, experienced workers, and will be paying particular attention to the link between performance and meeting business objectives.

Career killers: Not acquiring the best education, experience, and skills. Organizations will be competing for the best, and if you’re not the best expect to be overlooked.

The Bottom Line — Be Prepared & Stay Current

Will you still be employable in 2020? When all is said and done, the biggest career killer of all is not staying on top of current and future trends. While we can expect plenty of change, turbulence, and uncertainty in the next decade, there’s plethora of opportunities for those who prepare.

Recommended Reading

Thank you for reading this article. We hope you found it informative. As a bonus, the Salary.com editorial staff has compiled a recommended reading list regarding this topic. Enjoy:

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