JOBS, CHANGE, AND CHEESE

Jobs are forever an important topic of discussion. The terms of that discussion are always changing. I think it has something to do with the cheese.

In his classic book, Who Moved My Cheese? Spencer Johnson posits that some changes are changes that we can control. Some changes are changes that we cannot control. But our attitude is of ultimate importance with all change. How you respond to change is immensely more important, powerful, and telling than the specifics of the change itself.

The June 26, 2017 issue of Bloomberg Businessweek is entitled, “The Jobs Issue.” In it, Michael R. Bloomberg makes a fundamentally important declaration about changes in the job market and how we ought to respond (“Government and the Rise of Automation” p. 10):

Capitalism has brought opportunity to billions of people around the world and reduced poverty and disease on a monumental scale. Driving that progress have been advances in knowledge and technology that disrupt industries and create new ones. We celebrate market disruptions for the overall benefits they generate, but they also present challenges to workers whose skills are rendered obsolete. . . .

Attempting to slow the pace of technological change to preserve particular jobs is neither possible nor desirable.

And why would we want to do that? We can no further stop the changing job market than we can stop time. But how you respond to changes in the job market is immensely more important, powerful, and telling that the specifics of the change.

Bloomberg goes on to emphasize the importance of a synergistic cooperation among employers, governments, universities, and workers to facilitate navigation in our incredibly complex and constantly changing employment world, all of which I endorse. As important as all that is, when it comes to the individual worker, that is where the buck has always and will always stop. You and I as individuals must assume rightful responsibility for making and keeping ourselves employable.

Ultimately, no one ever truly has a right or a guarantee to a job. What we do have is the constant opportunity to make ourselves employable. And exactly what that looks like is as varied as the colors of the rainbow.

Preparing oneself for a viable, lucrative, and fulfilling future is not something you do once and then forget about it. It is a lifelong endeavor. This means that we ought to be constantly assessing our skills, experience, credentials, strengths, weaknesses, and aptitudes. The job that is a perfect fit today may be the job you grow out of tomorrow. The job that you earned last year could be the job that is eliminated today.

Life has ups and downs, good times and bad times. Jobs come and go. However, what never changes is that you have the power to craft who you are and who you are becoming. Those are endeavors that must always take top priority in your life. After all, your future genuinely depends on it.


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