The Future of Work


I’ve just been reading a great article at McCrindle titled Technology, Innovation & Collaboration: The Future of Work with Claire Madden.

As those of us that have been labelled as Baby Boomers get set to move out of the workforce (to live on our children’s inheritance), Generation Z is getting ready to take our place. Their working lives won’t simply be different from ours, they’ll be different from the generations in between us as well. We’ve already seen big changes in work habits and work lives but the change is about to accelerate.

Generation Z bring new approaches to work, problem solving, innovation and collaboration. They have been born into an era of unprecedented change – this will be reflected in their approach to their careers. Today’s annual turnover rate is 15% per annum which equates to people staying in their roles for approximately 3 years 4 months. Projected over the lifetime of a school leaver today it is estimated they will have 17 jobs across 5 careers in their lifetime.

Most of us in the workforce now have had a number of jobs and perhaps a few careers. The idea of someone joining a company at 15 and staying until retirement is already a part of history but now we’ve got to wonder if those about to start their working lives will ever qualify for long service leave.

There’s a lot more of interest in the McCrindle article and it’s well worth taking the time to read it in full. I guess I still can’t get past the idea of someone having 17 jobs across 5 careers. As the world around us, especially the world of technology, changes ever more rapidly, it seems our lives are changing more than ever. Where is the room for stability when our jobs, careers and our homes are constantly changing? How do we view the certainties of life when life becomes so changeable?

I’ve had a few jobs myself.

I must admit that I’ve had a few jobs over many years. I began full time work as an apprentice chef. After four years I was handed the certificate to say that I was qualified. I then promptly left the industry.

I worked within the Education Department for five years, in radio for around twenty full time years and about 6 part time, I was employed by the Bible Society for five years and almost two years ago began working for Compassion Australia. I’m now 52 so I’m hoping I still have quite a number of working years ahead of me. I don’t know what the future may hold but I’m hoping that a large part of it will be staying right where I am, seeking to see many more children released from poverty in Jesus’ name.

What has your work life looked like so far? Are you still in the same job you started in? Are you even in the same career? I’d be really interested to hear your experience of work, whether you’ve been in the workforce for a short time or you’re nearing the end of your working life. How have you seen society’s attitudes to work change over the time you’ve been employed?

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The Hardest and Easiest of Times


Wednesday the 27th of November, 2013. It was the beginning of something new. It was the beginning of a difficult journey that has been one of the easiest upon which I’ve ever embarked.

I’ve worked in radio for a long time. Over 25 years in all. My most recent time in radio lasted nine and a half years so when I started telling people that I was leaving radio to work for Compassion Australia I had quite a variety of responses. Many talked about it being a huge change and about how courageous it was.

Big change? Courageous? I suppose they were thinking about how big a step it is for a 50 year old man to be changing careers. I have to admit that until friends started drawing my attention to it I hadn’t really considered it to be such a major change. I always knew there’d be a steep learning curve and that I would have to master a range of new skills but it all just seemed so natural and logical to me.

My passion to help those in poverty has been growing over many years so the opportunity to be more closely involved with an organisation that is recognised as being a world leader in poverty relief was an easy step to take. It just makes perfect sense.

Compassion works to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name. The photo above is one I took while visiting some of the children Compassion was releasing from poverty in Dominican Republic back in 2008.

Over the last few weeks my brain has been spinning with everything I’ve been learning. My new job is indeed very different to my last job but as someone who has simply wanted to be where I believe God wants me, it’s just another step on the pathway.

So … in some ways this change has been the hardest of times, and there is still plenty of learning and adjustments to come, but it’s also been one of the most natural and easy things I’ve ever done.

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I’m a Thrill Seeker


Sometimes I like to flirt with death. I do this by throwing a verbal grenade into conversations with certain women. I don’t do it often but when I do, it certainly creates some interesting results.

Now and then I find myself in a conversation with a group of women. Occasionally during those conversations the topic of food and cooking comes up. It’s about that time that I usually lob in a comment like, “Cooking is a woman’s job. Men don’t belong in the kitchen.”

Nuclear Threat

You probably wouldn’t be all that surprised to find that comments like that create a reaction not dissimilar to starting the launch sequence on a nuclear weapon. It takes some very quick action to bring the situation back from DEFCON ONE.

That’s when I smile and mention that I previously worked in a very large kitchen. I spent four years as an apprentice chef then left the industry after qualifying. I still do most of the cooking at home. I’m not brilliant at cooking but I know my way around a kitchen.

A Lifetime Ago

I was thinking today that it’s been more than 30 years since I finished my apprenticeship. More than 30 years. That’s a long time. It seems like a lifetime ago. It’s sometimes hard to believe that it was even me who worked in the hospitality industry all those years ago.

Cooking paid the bills and gave me the ticket I needed to leave school at the end of Year 10 but it was never really my passion. I remember other apprentices talking about moving overseas to learn more about cooking. I thought they were crazy but they were just passionate about their profession.

Most of my working life has been spent working in radio. Now there’s a career I can get passionate about.

What Have You Left Behind?

I’m wondering if you’ve changed careers. What made you move from one job to another? Do you still have a dream about a different career? What’s holding you back from following that dream?

Are there other things that you left behind many years ago? A friend, partner, country or faith? Does it feel like forever ago? What are you glad to have left behind and what is there that you think would be good to re-visit?

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New Job Mistakes

We’ve all been there. We’ve sweated over the job application, made it through the interrogation … er … interview, and been rewarded for our efforts with a brand new job. Brilliant. We’ve made it. Or have we?

Getting a new job can be a bit of an ordeal but then comes the real test. How are we going to make it through the early days, weeks and months? How long will it be before we’re no longer known around the office as, “the new guy”?

We’re being told that the first three months of any new job will either make or break our career move.

Career expert Russell Johnson says the biggest mistake people make when they start in a new workplace is they don’t realise how important the first three months actually are.

“The first day is the most important day, first week is the most important week, and by the time the first 90 days are over you’re either in or you’re toast,” said Mr Johnson, managing director of EPR Career Management.

“It’s simply that people are making their impression and first impressions are notoriously difficult to change – we make them emotionally, non-rationally, and intuitively.” – PerthNow

That’s all we need. We’re already concerned about making a good impression and now we’re told that we’ve got to be ‘absolutely fabulous’ from day one.

Apparently you’re likely to come unstuck in your first few months if:

* You’re a “know-it-all”
* You get a reputation for procrastination
* You try too hard to fit in
* You try to make the best of a bad situation
* You put up with a job that’s not what you expected
* You are too opinionated before you know the business

There are other mistakes but according to Russell Johnson but these are some the biggies.

Have you ever done anything embarrassing in the early days of a new job? What advice would you give someone who’s starting a new job?

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Time for a Career Change


Have you heard about the thieves in Brisbane who made three unsuccessful attempts to rob a jewellery store? They started by throwing spark plugs at the front window trying to smash their way in. Next they decided to break in via the rear doors but found themselves in the neighbouring Animal Welfare League Opp Shop.

For their final attempt, they broke into a toilet block at the rear of the connected shops and used an iron bar to hack through a wall. They expected to arrive in the jewellers, but instead landed in the local KFC, surprising junior staff and themselves. I don’t think that fried chicken is quite as valuable on the black market as jewellery.

Thankfully they’ve now been arrested but I reckon it’s a fair guess that they were in the wrong career. Not that crime is ever a good career choice.

My original career was in the hospitality industry. I did a four year cooking apprenticeship many, many years ago so I’m actually a qualified chef. There was a range of reasons that I decided it wasn’t the career for me.

I’m wondering if you’ve jumped career. What was it that made you decide to switch? Why did you leave one career and start something new?

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