In 2017, we’ll be inching, and in some cases taking giant leaps, toward increased disruption in business and technology – inevitably leading to career disruptions for many people. More than the rapid changes we’ve seen in the last decade, we’re poised to see some sudden, dramatic changes that can affect your career and ultimately your bottom line. Here are three career crushing trends to keep an eye on in 2017 and beyond:
# 1: Disruptive Technology Can Disrupt Your Career
More and more we are starting to see disruptive technology, and not just the simple evolution from one product to the next version of it. Instead, we’re seeing entirely new technologies seeming to come out of nowhere and change the way we work. Virtual Reality, 3-D printing, self-driving cars, drones and artificial intelligence are just a few examples. Dubbed, “the 4th Industrial Revolution” by global business leaders at the World Economic Forum, changes in technology along with how we interact with that technology look to transform both how and how much we work. If you’re paying attention and learning these technologies, they can lead to enhancing your career. However, if you’re not looking ahead to how technologies could shape your industry and your job, you could end up finding yourself replaced.
# 2: Political Change Creates New Winners and Losers
We have a new president coming into office, promising to shake up the way the US conducts business – both inside and outside of the country. Any change of administration brings with it differences in emphasis and direction. Pay attention to where the opportunities are opening and closing. As an example, President elect Trump has criticized Boeing for costs related to the development of a new Air Force One as well as the sale of planes to Iran. Whether those deals go through or not will impact the jobs and livelihoods of everyone involved with the sales and building of the aircraft. Pay attention as what’s happening in Washington will ripple through to your industry, company and ultimately you.
# 3: New Business and Employment Models
The idea of working for one company for a lifetime is long gone. Having a full-time job may be the next thing to go. The combination of increased employment costs (such as health care) and the need to adapt to rapidly changing business environments and technology are increasingly leading companies to stop hiring full-time employees in favor of contractors and part-time employees. While for some types of work, such as retail, it’s easy to see the reports of these trends in the news. However, this issue hits home to an increasing number of employees in an increasing number of fields – including programming and IT functions.
What makes dealing with disruptions like these particularly difficult is that rarely is the disruption first seen at the level of a person’s job. Rather, the disruption happens somewhere else first and then flows silently, almost unnoticed until it hits you like a tsunami after an earthquake. In order for you to navigate your career through today’s rapidly changing and disruptive business environment, you need to be aware of industry trends and new technologies, and how they will flow through to the work you do as well as the financial health of the company you work for. It doesn’t matter how safe you think your job is if your company is disrupted and has to close.
In order to ensure a lasting career for yourself, don’t just watch and comment on the news. Think about how what you are seeing and hearing will impact the company you work for and your job specifically. What can you do to start preparing today for tomorrow’s changes?