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Reflection on the Future Labor Market

By AmberLynn86 May 10, 2013 1171 Words
Amber Watson
Article Reflection: Are You Getting Ready for 2025?

Believe it or not, most people that surround us daily spend more time wishing their lives away, rather than planning for an actual future. In order to promote success in one’s professional development, our society emphasizes certain principles more than others, for example, independence and leadership. Although these traits are important for overall achievement, we as a society tend to normalize certain behaviors and beliefs that can become counter-productive over time. Universities offer curriculums that teach students about morals and ethics within the workplace; however, students often find that once they enter into “the field,” most of these concepts have gone out the window.

Picture this: the semester is almost over and a majority of your peers are about to graduate. Everyone agrees that their personal lives are non-existent; the little time one has for personal time is plagued by exhaustion...! You constantly hear: “Damn! I can’t wait to be done!” “This needs to end quick!” Its difficult to “see the big picture” and close to impossible to look10 years in advance to envision where you will be. (poor planning/brainstorming; poor usage of “extra time”/”mind power”)

Or, maybe one of your co-workers truly believes that they are helping everyone around them by becoming “the human countdown timer” after lunch. In order for them to continue providing an every “10 to 15 minute update” on the remaining time of the day (“T minus 120 minutes”), THEY have decided that forfeiting any work-related responsibilities/duties is necessary. (poor work conduct/attitudes; little internal motivation/self discipline)

These behaviors are examples of what NOT to do. These people will eventually learn how to make better use of their time if they plan on staying employed in the future. In today’s world, an employee could easily get away with “daydreaming about vacations, wishing away their [current] day, and appear to be productive by ‘looking busy.’ But in order to secure employment in 10-15 years, workers must rise above new challenges in the workforce: avoid being outsourced, utilize technology to their advantage, maintain good individual relationships with clients, accept work in remote locations and possibly for a variety of organizations, and think of ways to position yourself in the future before you have to. Choosing a career that is fitted for you is possible by using labor market skills and self-knowledge, but must be done with a cautious eye. Becoming self-marketable is important for future workers; knowing what you are getting involved with beforehand will save time and money, because time IS money and money IS time!

Whether we like it or not... ”the future is always uncertain, and the end is always near” - Jim Morrison

As our world evolves and technology advances, we see more change happening around us at a faster speed, turning up the competition, increasing people’s sense of entitlement, creating more inequality, etc.. . Darwin would agree that in order to “survive” and ensure placement in the world (similar to future positioning in the work force), one MUST adapt to their surroundings, accept the changes, and “get in the habit of taking action that invites people to pay attention.”

Since the Mental Health Counseling Program at LIU Brentwood is significantly smaller than the program at Post, the students at Brentwood play a large role in their own advisement and academic planning, and remain their own advocates/personal secretaries throughout their studies at this campus. Initially, I found it frustrating to have to deal with various things that normally would be dealt with by the bursar or registrar staff. However, being in charge and having these responsibilities taught me how to prioritize, multi-task, and realize that whatever I wasn’t able to finish that day, can be finished tomorrow. Working too hard and stretching yourself too thin will only be a detriment to your own success.

In order for students to get the most out of grad school, they must completely commit themselves to an adventure, and understand that just about anything can occur at any time throughout this process. Students must be aware that most of the coursework is done independently, and failing to stay current on assigned readings is only going to hurt them in the long run. Learning to be IN charge of your responsibilities requires you to TAKE charge as well. According to Levit, the essential worker of the future must develop these personal characteristics if they haven’t already done so (self-discipline and internal motivation). The future labor market will be much different; we should expect to see an increase in competition, and also learn how to adapt to rapid change. The “current worker” appears to be uncomfortable with change, but unfortunately“job security is something of the past. Becoming self-marketable is a must.

Professors encourage students to read current literature related to the field, as well as in other areas, for example, health & science, business & technology, and local buzz. This comes in handy when working with clients; being able to start a conversation can be difficult at times, not to mention awkward, but current events can help break the ice. In addition, being familiar with current work trends is key for the future worker to achieve their desirable/best matched career. It is sometimes difficult to find non-biased information, especially when a large number of writers tend to emphasize the negative aspects of the labor. Information should always be investigated and analyzed with some skepticism, so that any faulty or misleading content can be identified [and possibly reported]. Reading Alexandra Levit’s article, “Are You Getting Ready for 2025?” was like having my own personal cheerleading squad; Levit offered valuable advice and strategized ways to eventually lead people to their “dream job.” I thoroughly enjoyed Levit’s optimism and realistic explanation of our future and where/how we place ourselves in it.

Alexandra Levit encourages her audience to think about what the workplace will look like in the future, and how to place yourself in a career that truly compliments one’s talents, interests and skills. Unlike most other articles I’ve read about future employment opportunities, and “the difficulties most people will encounter finding their dream jobs,” Levit steers clear of any negativities associated with the topic, and invites her readers to embrace hopes and future dreams by focusing on career development now, continue the journey (necessary for gaining self-knowledge), and learn just how effective these interests and skills interact with labor market data.

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what
you do are in harmony.” --Ghandi

“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!” --Dr. Seuss

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” 
-Mark Twain

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." 
--Will Rogers 

“The
price of
anything is the
amount of life you
exchange for it.
--Henry David Thoreau

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