There is clear evidence that the industries of healthcare and social assistance, professional, scientific and technical, education and training, and construction are the leading industries forecasting growth for the next five years.

In Asia, the majority of growth is coming from technological advancements presenting massive opportunities for large, multi-national companies to expand their markets in the world’s fastest-growing economic region. The trends point to growth in professions such as sales, data science, logistics, information technology, and communications, engineering, construction, health services, education, and training.

Employment Prediction Number 1: More people than usual will experience redundancy.

Data from 2017, show that 187,000 positions in Australia were made redundant. In 2019, that figure rose to 272,500, an increase of 45%. In 2020, this figure will increase again as tasks within jobs disappear and as organisations tighten up on expenditure where they can. Business owners need the right people in the right positions at the right time to succeed. And this year is the year that will see business owners make tough decisions on the size, capacity, and capability of their workforces.

The good news is that the participation rate over the year to August 2019 was at an all-time high of 66.2%. The upshot? While many jobs are disappearing – many more are being created.

Employment Prediction Number 2: The essential skill people will need moving into this decade is learning how to prepare for career transition and advancement.

More and more people will seek employment with organisations that align with their values, motivations and their long-term goals. And to achieve this, people will adopt new ways of engaging with future employment opportunities.

The job boards continue to be the primary source of talent for employers (58%), with 32% of opportunities found by word of mouth. While only 10% of jobs were filled by people directly approaching employers, this figure will rise.

Our world of work is changing forever, and it calls for a complete overhaul of how people prepare for their careers and a complete change to how employers attract, identify, and engage with talent. Employees will have more power at their disposal than ever before.

Employment Prediction Number 3: There will be a shift in focus from soft skills to hard skills.

For too long now, the rhetoric around so-called “soft skills” has gotten out of hand. The emphasis on “soft” skills ahead of “hard” skills is confusing a whole generation of young people who are neglecting to focus on their technical skills and the impact they can make to an organisation.

There is no doubt that “soft skills” are essential in the workplace; however, employers need hard, technical skills to achieve results. The pressure today is that employers want both, but the question is, will soft skills outweigh the need for hard skills when operational performance is in high demand and essential for organisational survival in a highly competitive world.

Employment Prediction Number 4: The lack of day-to-day leadership by people in management will continue to be a monumental challenge for organisational performance and will continue to impact employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention.

Leadership is an overused word. By definition (Oxford Dictionary) a leader is “the person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country.” However, a title and direct reports does not equate to successful leadership. It is how a person behaves that will determine the success of their tenure. In 2020, employees will become less tolerant of contradictory behaviours in the workplace. Leading people and teams can be exceptionally challenging however the great news is, positive leadership skills can be taught. The not so good news is, leadership skills must be practiced.

A lack of positive and objective leadership in organisations will be the cause of many employees leaving their jobs in 2020.

Employment Prediction Number 5: Leaders of organisations and employees who do not embrace change, who do not adopt an adaptive mindset and develop skills required will be left behind.

There is no doubt the business landscape is changing the way we work, live, and learn, with the rate of change only accelerating. Those who adopt a mindset willing to challenge and question current business strategies and practices will move forward.

For business leaders, this means being aware, alert, and ready to adapt to new ways of doing things. Senior leaders who develop their abilities (and their brains) to quickly solve unique and complex problems under pressure, not by memory or a cookie-cutter approach, but by using their learning processes to respond swiftly and productively, will gain the advantage.

To thrive in this changing new world, it is essential you know (and are ready to express) what your value is to business, the impact you want to have, and your purpose. Your behaviour and your capability to make decisions that drive performance are essential in 2020. Being empowered and in control of your career will bring you peace of mind and the confidence needed to progress and advance your career no matter the change.

Take advantage of your MBA, Masters or Ph.D. in 2020 and kick-start your career!

Register for the Steam Connect Pilot Program and re-imagine your future.

  • 90-minute Steam Connect Workshop in Sydney or Brisbane (multiple dates available) – limited to only 30 participants per workshop.
  • 1:1 coaching with a professional career management coach to help you design and implement your personal career strategy.
  • The opportunity to access the Steam Connect Talent Platform – for direct access with employers of YOUR choice across the Asia Pacific.

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Libby Marshall

Author Libby Marshall

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