Their Future is Our Present: Parallels in the New Workforce Landscape


Q: What does a 20-year business professional have in common with a high school senior?

A. More than we would like to admit.

My daughter and eldest child is a senior in high school this fall. This fact alone has set my head to spinning. This summer, we spent a good amount of time on the road, checking out college campuses and learning all we could about what each institute of higher learning had to offer.

Now, in the calm before the storm of senior year, we have had a little time to reflect on what the future has to offer to the emerging, young business professional in the next 5 to 10 years. One revelation that came to me from this process of research and discovery I shared with my daughter. I told her, “Your first job out of college does not even exist yet.”

As I said this, I realized that the same holds true for me. As the old industries fall apart or are re-engineered, they are being replaced with new businesses from emerging sectors that are still in the early stages of germination and growth. That means that the skills and jobs required to support economic growth for new business sectors have yet to be determined and defined.

As business professionals, the impact of this statement has powerful implications for all of us. The fact that we are going to have to retrain and adopt new skills for new industries is unavoidable. There may be some truth in realizing that our next career may not even exist yet.

The heartening part of this statement is that new jobs and new careers are on there way to us. We just need to be ready to greet them when they arrive. Maybe this fall is like our senior year. Time is moving quickly and we all need to start planning for our future in the new economy of 2010 and beyond.

Graduation is only a few months away and approaching fast…