I would be stating a boring rehashed fact if I were to say I found the transition to being a working mother hard. And, being a questioner (see here) I got waaay into thinking about the future of work.
I could not shake the need for workplaces to change – massively and fast! I felt no-one was winning. Mother’s missed out because they were marginalised for putting their kids first. Fathers were denied work flexibility to support their family. The younger generation were missing out on jobs altogether to older, more experienced workers ready to fill all the vacancies. Baby Boomers were discriminated against and, although they would love to have worked less, the fear of being swept aside was omnipresent. In short, no one was loving the way work was going.
The problems and many solutions seemed so clear to me, I thought the revolution must be coming.
I heard on Radio National (please send the link if you find it) that when big technological advances come around, there is a large disruption which takes a while to settle. Look at the Agrarian Revolution and the Industrial Revolution. I looked up Revolution on hashtagify.me and the four biggest associated hashtags are Syria, Pakistan, Music and GetGlue. Nothing on work. Am I the only one so passionate about this?
Manufacturing is continuing to decline in Australia, with the associated redundancies. Baby Boomers are not able to fund their retirement post the Global Financial Crisis and are returning to work or delaying retirement altogether. The government still sees a future in mining and polluting energy despite there being so many indications the industries are in massive and permanent decline. Generation Ys and the younger ones are keen but directionless and unsure how society can help them.
Given I still have some ideas ringing in my head, I thought I would share them. I want to create a new revolution for each one. I’m giving each their own hashtag, because the song is right, this revolution won’t be televised. It will be hash-tagged.
Baby Boomers need to continue to work, but don’t want to work the hours of a 40 year old.
Gen Y’s want to work, but still have time to live lives filled with travel, study and relationships.
You know when you were a kid and used to count up all your coins? It was so satisfying when you were able to put two 50c coins and make a whole dollar?
1 x Baby Boomer + 1 x Gen Y = 1 x full time position. Great training for the Gen Y, great job satisfaction for the Baby Boomer.
China’s economy is slowing, the world is looking to green energy and the environment. Even if you do not believe in climate change, that industry is dying. Get over it, and INNOVATE!
Governments: enable it! Encourage innovation in Australia as we are desperate for new industries. Why not support it and create true jobs for the future, not just rehashed ones whose future is shaky. We cannot compete with Asia for manufactured goods, China is no longer in dire need of our minerals and nearly every country on the planet is looking for new ways of getting by with less. We have a highly educated population, let’s not lose it.
The public: get on with it! Explore your ideas, look up articles on starting up a business. I was once told to stop window shopping for my future, but to cross the threshold of life. I think that’s good advice for everyone.
Simplifying, minimalism, downsizing, subsistence, eating local. These are all things. Why not make it your life? Move to a rural or regional area, work remotely, work less, and make and grow your own. The idea appeals to me immensely and we even tried it. I would gladly do it again, but there needs to be more support for it as a way of life. (NBN anyone?)
Also, I suggest doing the research. Simple things like can you pursue your hobbies there or are there new ones you would be interested in? Will there be support for you now and into the future (such as schools or nursing homes). Can you afford to buy a house outright or earn enough to service your mortgage and expenses.
Make your hobbies and ideas your business. This takes planning and time but I have found it the only way to work that makes sense to me, my family and my clients.
Just remember it will take time. On many of the forums I am a member of, people believe there is a quick way to jump off the corporate ladder and make a solid living. There is not. But if you are clear on your end goals and make a firm plan (including financial plans) it is a real option.
I’ve stolen this from the Kiwi’s Overseas Experience, but do not rule it out. Many organisations have offices in other countries, many of us have (or could have) multiple passports and some countries allow easy migration. There are many and varied jobs and experiences to be had in different countries, so I highly recommend this.
I am hoping that this list of options will get out there. I am hoping they will offer hope to those despairing at a redundancy; to those who are finding their current work regime restrictive or to those wondering how to help their children get into the workforce.
I specialise in creating customised strategic plans, helping my clients craft their perfect future. Give me a call if you would like to discuss your future and how I can help.