Happy New Year! While having a discussion with friends recently, the subject of personal change surfaced. As we bantered back and forth, it became obvious that fear of the unknown still remains as a roadblock to improvement. Here we are at the beginning of a New Year, a point in time synonymous for altering behavior and we are still rationalizing the need to stay the same. We spend so much time talking about consistency and becoming confident in our own skin, do we spend too much time talking about being different or turning into someone or something else? Let’s peruse the power of change.
Be a Quick-Change Artist
Depending on the statistics that we subscribe, our country is about four years into the latest recession. As most life lessons tend to be, it has indeed been a learning experience. The Bureau of Labor Statistics report millions of jobs lost with no immediate signs of improvement. Presently, there are two different perspectives of the jobs situation across America. Some economists feel the current 8.6% unemployment rate is merely cyclical and will work itself out when demand increases. Conversely, the opposite camp views the challenge as structural, meaning the issue lies in the designated “skills gap.” If the “skills gap” is as much of an issue as reported, we are sitting on thousands of unfilled jobs because of unqualified workers. How did that happen and what is the solution?
Emerge From the Cocoon
It becomes easy to see why we may have a “skills gap” when you look at just a few occupations that are no longer in demand today. Once a skill-set becomes unnecessary due to technological advances, system improvements or increased efficiencies, we see an evolution or elimination of tasks and careers over time that might not have been initially obvious. What is needed to fill this “skills gap?” Higher-level skills, such as science, engineering, math and technology are among jobs that are referred to as “middle skilled” occupations requiring credentials between a High School Diploma and a four-year college degree. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that between 40 and 45 percent of all job openings through 2016 will be in these “middle-skilled” occupations.
Fortunately, many cities and states are addressing these needs through training programs and continuing education. With the tools in place, all we need is the desire to change. Having that desire is half the battle. The status quo may no longer be the best road to take. Consider extending your reach. Become a chameleon.
With that, friends, I’ll leave you with this;
You’ve got to SEE positive to BE positive!
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