So how do you get a job at the Tesla Gigafactory? Like Liam Neeson, you’ll need a particular set of skills, depending on whether you’re aiming for the Tesla or Panasonic side. Here’s how to acquire them.
Are fixed jobs ending?
We are not fatalistic and predicting fixed job apocalypse. Some fixed jobs will remain; however, employers and employees need to change their expectations of jobs and careers moving forward.
Based on the latest projections by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following occupations are expected to massively decline in number and percentage of workers between 2010 and 2020: 1) farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers, 2) postal service mail sorters, carriers and clerks, 3) sewing machine operators, 4) switchboard operators, 5) fast-food cooks (imagine a world where there is no human cooking your burger.) Review the top 20. It will give you pause.
Why is this happening? We have robots and artificial intelligence today, and yet there are more jobs than there are people to fill them and/or are willing to fill them. Companies are forced to be more creative and flexible in hiring methods. An organization that has clearly defined and assigned jobs may not continue to exist. New vacancies demand determining whether each job can be deconstructed and be more fluid so that they fit people’s skills, abilities and desires not only as those elements change in the individual but also as the company changes.
How did we operate before? Management typically relied on Taylorism (introduced in the early 1900s) to break tasks down into tiny steps, dictating how each person could best do his or her specific series of steps. Modern methodologies prefer to examine work systems more holistically, evaluating efficiency and maximizing productivity. With a creative eye, you might discover that a job can be broken apart. For example, an accounting department employee may have a dichotomy of skills. One bucket holds the technical and computer skills, in the other social skills to contact the vendors and develop relationships. Breaking those sets apart and giving them to two different people whose talents lend themselves to either side makes sense for long-term job satisfaction and heightened customer service.
Setting expectations is key. Demands on employees to be flexible in all aspects of work and life are increasing. As analytics (think Big Data) are understood and applied, the work performed will change. Instead of saying, “I need to fix this job,” the role of management is now to say, “I have a good person, what do I really need them to do and when?” Involving the employee in that creative process may produce growing pains depending on their personality. If a new hire expects a J-O-B, and then you ask them to free-flow, that might send them into a panic. Or it may thrill them. Today, minimally “showing up” and getting year-over-year raises is laughable. Employees are expected to participate in the process, ask appropriate questions, look for opportunities and visibly be part of the goal to move forward.
So how is an employee’s career path affected? Is there progression? Steps of achievement? Not programmed, as in the past. As a person grows and knows more, they become more valuable to that company. There must be a mandatory mind shift, separating accomplishment from moving up. If your knowledge base is expanding, you have no need to move up a ladder. You simply move the ladder from one part of the company experience to another, gaining exposure to new knowledge and becoming a part of the building of the organization.
Where do you start? Employees, where do you belong? Should you recognize and realize you may not belong to every company? Be fair to yourself. Ask and answer, “Am I this person? Am I going to fit in?” Being self-aware is important. Are you creative? If not, are you flexible and adaptable? Can you jump into a team and contribute positively?
Employers, are you hiring for a skill set? Have you deconstructed your jobs in a way that allows for greater employee and customer engagement? Does the prospective employee have good decision-making abilities? How well do you communicate your expectations?
Celeste Johnson is the CEO of The Applied Companies, which provide HR solutions for today’s workplace. Kasey Skutt is the VP of business development and Jim Annis, The Applied Companies’ founder, contributed to this article.
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