In March 2009, the Australian dollar/US dollar exchange rate was 68 cents. The four major banks forecast the currency in March 2010. Two said approximately 60 cents; two said approximately 76 cents. The Australian dollar recently hit parity with the US dollar, which is totally unrelated to the forecasts by any analysts.
Who predicted the GFC? Bob Critchley from HunterBligh recently posed this question to 100 people at a seminar and not one hand was raised!
Who can predict if they will have a job in one years’ time? Kevin Rudd thought he was safe!! The reality is no employer can guarantee an employee their job because no organisation can guarantee their very own existence in one year’s time, so how can they assure an employee of certainty!
In today’s environment, the only certainty is change and change will continue…
We have no choice but to reach beyond our comfort zone and embrace the new world of work. Demographic changes and economic demand will continue to destabilise our workforce as well as other forces such as the impact of mergers and acquisitions, technology, globalisation, organisational restructure, outsourcing and changes to customer spending patterns.
The importance of these shifting forces is to ensure individuals are gaining ongoing and continuous education so that their skills and experience are relevant to an ever changing job market. It is vital to continue learning while in your job role so that sustainable employment is achieved. There are many examples of people who have continued on in their role without learning new skills over many years, and when retrenched have found there is little or no demand for their skills, which in some cases are out of date and/or not relevant to the current job market.
Similarly, organisations need to develop and encourage a mindset within their employees that enables them to be flexible and responsive to the developing needs of business and the market. This entails shifting the relationship between employer and employee from one based on the employee’s subordination to one of mutual benefit.
A reality of this new and healthy contract between a company and its employees is that the employer openly admits they cannot guarantee job security. As an alternative, companies can agree to provide staff with training and skill enhancement so that, should the organisation no longer wish to employ them, future and sustainable employability will be assured elsewhere.
We may not be able to forecast the future perfectly, but we can plan our careers with confidence!!