There used to be a time when the whole village celebrated the graduation of a child. The time when you’d have one degree holder in a village of 500 people.
This was because graduation meant an automatic job or path to opportunities and a better life. That’s why the message of the time was go to school, get good grades, get a good job and life will be great.
Unfortunately, that was over 40 years ago and things have changed pretty fast.
Back then, this child was seen as a village hero. His/her peers admired them and chances of getting a job in any of the village/society organisations, local governance system or local businesses was 100% because it was hard to find some one who would match their qualifications.
The balance of supply and demand in the job market was tilted towards the employees. They were few and every one wanted them hence the natural competition and fight that played in favour of those looking for jobs.
Fast forward the balance has tilted. Every house hold has a degree and masters holder, a phd is now the asset every one is looking for.
Degrees are no longer celebrated as a village, actually even as a house hold in some cases. We have more people looking for work than we have work available.
The balance of demand and supply has tilted towards the employer now and that’s the harsh reality. Just like employees had their time at some point, employers now now have their now.
In the beginning, for every 10 jobs you had only 2 suitable candidates and now for every 2 jobs you have 30 suitable candidates.
The competition has shifted to the other end of the table. This has made in more and more harder to employees and job applicants.
That’s just the harsh cold reality of the job market now. Throw in technology in the 21st century and you have even a far more complicated situation.
Far more competitive environment where one has to be so good in all ways to always keep a head of the competition.
Just the other day American retail chain Kroger announced that they were going to launch a pilot of their first entirely self check-out store meaning shoppers would enter get what they want and pay without any human interaction.
Kroger hires over 450k employees in the 27k stores they have, meaning if this model is fully adopted we’ll see about 400k people become jobless soon. We’ve seen robots replace waiters and waitresses in Japan meaning human labour is becoming more and more dispensable with time.
Two things will keep human labour relevant going forward that’s, utmost loyalty and super speciality.Employees will have to be too loyal to keep a job or too too good at some thing in particular to keep a job.
Being too good means keeping at something for too long it becomes second nature. Like Malcolm Gladwell wrote in his book, Outliers, it would take mastery which requires 10 years to achieve.
I don’t know if the modern day employee can manage that as they run from one job to another on the snap of a finger chasing the illusive pot of gold.
Today’s employees will leave a job for another over an increment of 50k-100k with jobs being in totally different industries and totally different trades. To them a quick buck is the sole ultimate goal nothing like career building.
So ask yourself as an employee, how best have you positioned yourself to remain relevant and indispensable in the new job market as it stands and evolves? What is your short and long term vision as a career employee?
What are the requirements of achieving both long and short term goals? Your world doesn’t end today and your choices and decisions today will surely come back to haunt you or propel you tomorrow.
Jaluum Herberts Luwizza is a Speaker,Writer and Contributor with the Nile Post.He is also a Business Consultant at YOUNG TREP East Africa’s No.1 Business Management and Consultancy firm that helps people start and grow profitable businesses.
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