The Winds of Change in the Job Market

July 19, 2011

By Lauren Still, MBA, CTACC


The job market is changing. The business world has been used to calling the shots when it comes to employment. There has been a large, hard-

Don't just be another leaf in the wind

working labor force dominating the scene for decades (they’re called Baby Boomers) whose sheer numbers made employment a seller’s market. The mantra was “work our way and perform or we’ll replace you.” But this year the first Boomers are eligible for social security benefits, and there are forces at play that will inevitably change the job market.


The Baby Boomers – A Force of Change

The Boomers have changed the face of each stage of life as they have passed through it. So if past decades are any predictor, when and how they choose to retire is likely to be very different from previous generations. But with 77 million Boomers moving into “retirement age” starting this year, the knowledge, experience and talent that they will take with them will be tough to replace.

Generation X – In the Midst of Change

With only 49 million Gen Xers, there is an obvious shortage of talent looming. In addition, there are fewer of this generation willing to “go the extra mile” as the Boomers did; Gen X is more interested in attaining balance. They’ve watched their parents and Boomers work themselves silly, and Gen Xers are more likely to share the responsibilities of children and finances.

Generation Y – The New Face of Change

The 74-million-strong Gen Y is known for its entitlement attitude, multi-tasking abilities, desire to make a difference, respect for family and team attitude. Ten years from now when they start impacting the workforce, Gen Yers will tend to look at work as a means to an end.

The Tipping Point

We are moving toward a tipping point in the expectations of work. The author Malcolm Gladwell calls tipping points “the levels at which the momentum for change becomes unstoppable.”

The momentum behind all three generations in the workforce is enormous: Boomers will want flexibility to continue to work and be engaged, but will want time off to travel, explore their interests and stay active; Gen X will want flexible work arrangements such as flex hours, part-time or job share, and work-from-home so they can enjoy greater work-life balance; and Gen Y will choose work that allows them to live their own lifestyle and co-parent their children.

The cumulative effect will be a high-speed race for employers. No longer will the traditional work week be the standard. Companies will be pressured from all sides to embrace a new work culture that touts flexibility and choice, or they risk a hard time filling positions. We don’t know exactly what the workplace will look like in 10-20 years, but It is likely to be a buyers’ market.

IMPLICATIONS FOR COMPANIES: Focus on retention and strive to be one of the best places to work, or your talent will go elsewhere. IMPLICATIONS FOR JOBSEEKERS: Clarify your value proposition and prioritize your needs and expectations so you can seek out employers who provide what you’re looking for. Hang on everyone, it’s going to be an exciting ride!

photo by: Orbmiser

About Lauren: Lauren Still (MBA, CTACC) is a Denver native and a Park Hill resident. Lauren is a certified career and life coach providing individual and group coaching, resume services, assessments, workshops, and speaking/facilitation through her company Buoyant Life, LLC. She is also a career coach with CareerCo, a local online jobsite that provides jobseekers with collaborative support, resources and tools. Lauren is a member of the Denver Coach Federation and has served on the Board as Membership Director and Secretary.

http://TeneoTalent.com offers a new process of sales recruiting that uses sales assessments for both employers and job seekers to create long term fits.  We also offer career development tools through our sales career coaching program, including resume writing. We offer career advice, career matching and although our organization has a national focus, and have many Denver and Boulder sales jobs available at the moment.


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