Unemployed or Employed: Are You Prepared for the New Workplace?

Author: Roger M. Ingbretsen

The “knowledge age” and the new workplace demands the following; creative skills, critical thinking and problem solving skills, strong interpersonal skills, computer skills, and the ability to quickly react and adapt to change. These skills have not been embedded in our current education system. The American education system is still finding it hard to make the change from the “industrial age” to the “knowledge age.” Our education system is preparing students for a work culture that no longer exists. Very few low skills, non-thinking jobs are out there.

The driving force of the knowledge age is the human mind! Our economy will grow only if we grow our human capital potential. You will grow as an individual only if you grow your knowledge base. Most importantly, because job requirements change so often “life-long learning skills” have become critical to staying employed. A solid worker in the knowledge age – one who will stay employed – must have the ability to move effortlessly from project to project.

Our economy is dominated by information, services, and complex technology, more then the production of goods. In fact, the United States was the first country to have over 50% of its workforce employed in service industries. Today that figure exceeds 75%. These industries include but are not limited to research, education, health, law, banking, sales, data collection and government. The product of skilled professionals in the “knowledge age” is the service and information they provide.

The icon of the “knowledge age” is a blend of the computer and the human mind. For this icon to become a reality of our culture, a systems approach to the creation and formation of “human capital” must take place. The current patchwork of Federal, State and Local workforce, education and development programs must become seamless and based on the critical application and use of knowledge.

Preparation of the future workforce must become an integrated and inclusive system which ties training (skills) and education (concepts and theory) with the reality of economic and social development. This will in turn build the capacities, strengths and self-reliance of both the local community and the individual stakeholder. Government, business, education, labor, community organizations and perhaps most importantly “you … the individual” will have to get seriously involved in the development of our most important American resource, our “human intellectual capital.”

The key point to take forward with regard to how you approach our changing world of work is the fact that “brain is in, brawn is out.” You will earn a living wage by the use of your mind. Therefore, your ability to “learn throughout your earning years” will be a skill you must develop in order to stay productively employed.

Life-long learning is no longer a nice sounding set of words. Life-long learning is “the” way of being and living which everyone, no matter what position they occupy in our society, must understand and embrace if they are to be successful. There is no longer a separation between what we learn and what we earn or between our social skills and our work skills. Life is a total learning, earning, and interactive living experience!

An important self-motivating and sobering point reinforcing the need for life-long learning, is the fact that you are in competition with our exploding world population. Two hundred years ago we reached one billion people on planet earth. In 1999 we exceeded 6 billion. Of that total, the US population is only 300 million or 6%. Millions of people in this world want what we have. You can be sure that they are learning the skills required to compete for our jobs.

It is not only the lower paying jobs that are in jeopardy. Smart, white-collar workers are located in many parts of the globe and are willing to work for one forth or less, the amount of pay generally felt to be acceptable to the American worker. The “knowledge age” has leveled the playing field and it will be highly competitive and even more brutal. Over 80% of the 21st Century jobs in America will require continued learning after High School, 25% will require a college degree. Tens of millions throughout the world will be capable of becoming what is known as a “knowledge worker.” This is one of the greatest threats to our economy, our standard of living, our culture and your employment.

About the Author:

Roger Ingbretsen has more than three decades of operational and leadership experience, Serving on USAF active duty for twenty-six years, he then worked for high-tech companies for nineteen years before starting his leadership coaching and organizational consulting business.

Roger has held positions as a project manager, new product program manager, marketing and sales manager, corporate training and development manager, production manager, director of material, director of quality, director of executive development, and vice president of operations.

Roger has a Masters Degree in Organizational Leadership, from Gonzaga University, a dual undergraduate degree in Economics & Business Administration, and an AA degree in Business.

Roger is a member of the International Coaching Federation, has completed many professional training programs attaining certifications in the Harvard Law School "win-win" negotiation, Center for Creative Leadership "360-Degree Feedback" process and "Coach the Coach" program, Zenger Miller "Team Training Certification" and "Executive Coaching" from the Professional School Of Psychology, California. He is also a qualified administrator of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality inventory.

He is very knowledgeable in the area of "workforce development" currently conducting extensive research of recruiting and retention issues with a focus on generational problems.

Visit his web site at www.ingbretsen.com.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - Unemployed or Employed: Are You Prepared for the New Workplace?

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