One of my theories of life and business has been that whenever the great pendulum in the sky moves to one direction or extreme, given time it will move back to the middle and then eventually move to the opposite direction or extreme. Here are some simple examples:

  • Nation creation, growth, breakdown, rebirth – China, Roman, Great Britain, America (?)
  • A continual shift from growth stocks to value stocks and back
  • Democrats dominating the political landscape only to overplay their power, which brings in the Republicans who do the same, and so on
  • Office work to remote work to hybrid to office work
  • From the Great Resignation, to Quiet Quitting, to a marketplace imbalance, to a surge of talent, to rebalance, to niche opportunities, to new technology, to new supply/demand
  • 2022, a year of 10 million unfilled job openings, then 2023 with a tight job market

You get the idea.  It seems the trick to advance your career is to envisage where the pendulum is going to be, prepare for the swing, and be ready to take action.  When I look back on my career, that pattern of managing the change of the swinging pendulum occurred at least six times for me:  Two from terminations (a reorganization and a merger), one from a change of function, two from a change of industry (from education to non-profit to for-profit), and lastly a change from corporate life to consulting.  Each time the great pendulum of change dictated a major transformation, some planned and others dictated.

Each conversion from one career direction to another affected my family (moving across country twice) and tested my ability accommodate the changes in a positive way.  In other words, to be successful in the new venture.  Some of the changes were difficult while others not so tough.  Some transitions were thrust upon me (reorganization), some came from my unhappiness with the situation (education), while others came from being prevented to perform to my potential.

So, what does this all have to do with you?  Company hiring goals have softened and are projected to remain until the economy reverses and begins to grow.  Yet all segments of the market are not in a reversal.  A number of job categories continue to be in high demand and will continue to be in the foreseeable future: Technology (Data Scientist, Systems Analyst, Software Programmer, Cybersecurity analyst); Healthcare (Nurse Practitioner, Physical Therapist, Medical Technologist, Home Health Aide); Others: Construction, Statistician, Economist, Financial Advisor.

A word of caution. A forecaster recently postulated that the past 50 years have been focused on automating the blue-collar segment of the job market.  That will continue, but will be accompanied by many of the white-collar job segments, especially those that can be eliminated through artificial intelligence.  What are those types of jobs?  Work that can be accomplished through the computer easier or faster than a human.

Assuming all of these projections become reality, what are the consequences to the workforce and marketplace?  Stay tuned.

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By My Greener Future

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