“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” ― Alan Lakein
The purpose of this write-up is not just to create awareness, but provoke adequate actions in preparation for the new events that will begin to unfold as we hope for a quick end to the current pandemic ravaging the world, its people and economy.
It was initially projected that, in the next 5 years, the narrative jobs will change. While millions will lose their jobs, other few with newer competencies will get the few available jobs.
However, the projections for the fourth industrial revolution has come too soon with dramatic twists and turns due to the current pandemic. It had been projected that by 2022, 75 million jobs would be displaced, while 133 million new roles may emerge (WEF, The Future of Jobs report, 2018), but due to COVID-19, the following has already taken place and it also gives a picture of what post COVID-19 will look like:
1. Loss of jobs – As at today, millions have already lost their jobs, while there is no guarantee that many jobs would still be retained after the pandemic is over. According to ILO (UN), COVID-19 could cause 195 million job loss. The report clamied that 80% of the world workforce is currently under lockdown.
2. Definition of the work environment will change. It has become clearer now that value can be added or you can work remotely from home. Every form of service provision is changing for good, with little left in the industrial workspace, where physical presence will be required 100%. This will lead to changing employment types, sharp increase in required workforce skills, the need for re-skilling and upskilling to close the current skill gaps.
3. Individual selling point will change from mere certificate to virtues exhibited. Integrity, commitment, hardwork and loyalty will be more rewarded, while there will be sharp decline in positions and jobs secured through mere PR or qualifications. Performance monitoring and quality assurance will regulate the new environment and make it difficult for mediocrity to thrive.
4. Industrial action (strikes) will become less or completely ineffective and conditions of engagement or promotion will be based on values added, and not statutory as it is now. On the other hand, working-till-retirement due to age or length of service will become obsolete, while having more than one job will cease to be an offence especially in this side of the world.
The above-mentioned points are not the only transformations that will begin to unfold as soon as the pandemic is over. The wise thing is to be rightly positioned.
Few examples of what to do are:
• Acquire new skills;
• Develop new competencies in relevant areas;
• Attitudinal change.
Finally, start now. Remember it wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.