This may come as a shock to many readers, but unfortunately, the title of this post is true. If you have been following the news or paying attention to some of the promises and goals President Donald Trump has in store for The United States, you should know that influence from international countries and American jobs is left in limbo and quite ambiguous. President Trump and America’s foreign relations aside, let’s look at the patterns of jobs, their evolution, and what you can do to grow with the ever-changing job market.
A Brief History of Workforce Advancement:
If we look back to the 1977 census, we find that America’s largest employer was in the manufacturing industry. These jobs mainly consisted of assembly line workers for automobiles, electronics, lumber, etc. Jump twenty years, to 1997, and we see a gradual increase towards health care and retail. By 2012, manufacturing employment took a drastic nosedive from approximately 16 million to 11 million. Most of these employees probably have nothing more than a high school diploma, maybe a certificate or two from a local college, and very little expertise in other industries. So where did those 5 million employees go? They either made ends meet being unemployed, picking up odd and ends jobs here and there, or they dispersed into the several other industries that increased in employment such as, food services (supermarkets, fast food chains, etc.) and support and waste management (i.e. jobs Mr. White Collar would never want to have). So what does Michael Ray or Mary Lou do about the ever decreasing employment in services that require no more than a GED?
Your Next Steps:
Although it seems that there is not much for the average Joe or Jane to do in the drastically changing workforce, would you act if I told you there was? Instead of watching ‘The Voice’ every Monday night or participating in ‘Shondaland’ on Thursdays, go to your local library and take a coding class. Yes, coding, as in learn how to use a computer beyond scrolling through your Facebook feed and seeing the latest top 10 fads on Buzzfeed. Use your time wisely. Feed your brain something useful.Become more valuable.
Computers aren’t your thing? No problem, learn a new language like sign language, Spanish, French, or whatever else your heart desires. Too patriotic to speak something other than ‘Merican? Fine! Take a tax prep class so that you can charge your family members and neighbors a small fee to file for them. Learn a specific skill, tool, or trade that will make you the go-to when other people need help. A friend of mine became very proficient at pool deck resurfacing, so he started a business serving strictly that niche. My point is, your next step is to learn something new because, like it or not, your industry is changing and you’re probably going to be out of a job and dipping into your retirement reserves well before you expected to.