Retiring? Join the FEW!
Being in the career management industry for the past forever years, not much surprises me anymore. Thus, it was old news even before reading an article from the Career Management Alliance (CMA) highlighting how the pool of workers will be increasing for many years to come. For those living in a shelter, this is due to our seasoned employee’s intent to remain active in the workforce many years after retirement age. The rippling effects of such a shift have consequences well beyond the immediate. As such, lets review what the article crystallized:
The baby-boom generation-those born between 1946 and 1964-is expected to remain in the labor force longer than previous generations. As this group ages, the number of people in the labor force aged 55 to 64 is expected to grow by 33 percent between 2008 and 2018, and the number of people aged 65 and older is projected to grow by 78 percent. The numbers of 45- to 54-year-olds and 35- to 44-year-olds are expected to shrink as baby boomers age and shift into older groups.
Total labor force growth is expected to average about 8 percent during the projections decade. Because of such factors as better health and medicine, the number of adults in the labor force aged 65 and older is expected to grow about 10 times faster than the total labor force.
With our unemployment situation in such a depressed mode, it appears the world will need more than a helping hand from our government and President Obama. From senior-level employees to high school students to graduating students, the impact of a larger pool of applicants means more competition. As a result, more competition means a return to career Darwinism; survival of the fittest may be this decade’s mantra…. Hey, just keeping it real.
No longer are employers seeking candidates unable to perform a wide range of responsibilities. The new “fittest” will be employees capable AND willing to do more (and often for less—sorry). To get an edge over them elderly folks forgetting to behave and retire, continue professional development training, learn skills outside your vocation, become adaptable, and prove to your employer that you are dedicated to professional progression. In other words, complacency will not get you to the top.
For the student or recent graduate, I encourage you to also learn as many skills as possible. Become active in the community; develop a diverse network of peers from various industries. While in high school or college, take a good look in the mirror and check out what stares back, objectively. Sitting back, attending to your major while ignoring the competition is not career survival. As a career coach and resume writer, I encourage you to study beyond your major—as a matter of fact, obtain a minor in a completely different field… think about it.
With the pool of applicants increasing (and no release valve in sight), it’s time to gather as many skills and experiences as possible. Begging the question, “Is the pool large enough for all to swim?” No doubt if Darwin was around, he would keep it real and tell it like it is.
Danny Huffman, MA,CEIP, CPRW, CPCC, author, educator, and co-owner of Career Services International/Education Career Services. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his Career Blog at www.educationcs.wordpress.com.