I grew up in a community and an era when fathers worked for the same employer for 40 years, then retired. I went to school with many who thought that would be reality for them as well. Reality has a way of kicking us in the slats if we are not paying attention.
The world has changed dramatically on the past 50 years. Resource industries, which provided those long-term jobs have had the reality of the Global market to contend with and have gone through major restructuring, or as the catch-phase goes, ‘right-sizing’. Translated, it means loss of jobs.
Add to that the influence of technology and we see many jobs that simply are not needed anymore. I entered the cartographic drafting field when we were drafting on linen and hand lettering as had been done for over a hundred years. Within 30 years of my getting into the field it fully computerized. Not to say it is a bad thing, but the joy for me vanished as I could no longer be involved in the whole process of producing the mapping.
I am not complaining. I have been fortunate and always been able to grasp the opportunities and do work that met my values and ethics. I have been a cartographic draftsman, ran a mapping department, ran an administrative section, worked in Human Resources, been an employment consultant, and had my own company doing training and development.
Those coming into the workforce today need to gather as much education as they can as the changes I went through will seem trivial to their career path in their lifetime. My grandchildren will work in jobs that did not even exist in my time in the workforce. Job security does not exist as it was in the past.
More than ever, there needs to be the realization that everyone is self-employed. You and only you, are responsible for keeping current in your field and seeking the opportunities that present themselves whether you work on your own or you are employed by someone else.
The only advice I can give is ‘Do What You Love’.
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