Keeping up to date with what’s going on in our fast changing economy helps prepare you for jobs of the future or at the very least can help with conversation topics! As someone with an Arts background this interest in business didn’t necessarily come easily to me but it is actually really fascinating. Students and graduates of any discipline who are applying for jobs are expected to be aware of economic issues and have a view on trends and changes both locally and globally. To be on top of this I would suggest you don’t just rely on clicking on Stuff and occasionally reading the business section. Consider getting a student subscription to The Economist (or look at the print version in the library even though it has really a tiny font!) or read Business Insider. For example I recently read about Uber being valued by investors at more than the whole taxi market. While you don’t have to like, use or agree with this kind of company, it is interesting to see their impact. ‘On-demand’ businesses mean more freelance workers, plenty of start-ups and changes in regulation as well as employers and employees re-thinking traditional career paths. In the USA Handy provides home-helps at the touch of an app in 29 of the biggest cities, as well as 5 in the UK. Business is good and if you live there you can get your homes cleaned by Handy, groceries delivered by Instacart, clothes done by Washio and flowers delivered, organised by your personal assistant, Fancy Hands. Then if you are hosting dinner for some friends, ordered through SpoonRocket, and need a gift, TaskRabbit can sort it for you. Apart from wondering how much all that would cost, I’m thinking how sustainable are these models and what should I be doing to ensure I keep my skills up to date to fit in with this?
Another big news item at the moment, which I’m sure you’ve noticed when filling your car up, is the price of petrol. What does this mean and what is the impact of the oil situation on jobs? A lower oil price is good for the running costs of business and that might make them keener to recruit. Logistics, for example, is seeing skills shortages and may be a promising hunting ground for graduates looking for a less conventional challenge. On the other hand the oil and gas industry – booming in recent years – and industries allied to it are seeing significant recruitment issues as fields become less viable at lower prices.
Let me know what stories, articles or conversations have stimulated your thoughts about how economic changes are impacting the future of work.