Workplace Is Changing This Is a Guideline Thesis

Pages: 5 (1816 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Careers

¶ … Workplace is Changing

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Implications for Counselors

Globalization, Economy, and Environment. Those three terms summarize the main reasons that the workplace is changing right now, and they provide significant impact on individual career development.

The implications for counseling are that it is a new work world out there. Global boundaries are blurring, and "green" is the catchword and will become perhaps the biggest industry this country has known. Alan Blinder, an economist at Princeton, believes that in the workplace of the not-so-distant future, the main division will be, not between jobs that require a college degree and those that don't, but between work that can be outsourced to lower-cost labor markets and work that can't (Fisher, 2009). That is already happening.

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Daniel Pink, author of A Whole New Mind and Free Agent Nation notes that economies are automating and off-shoring routine white-collar work -- basic accounting, basic financial analysis, and even basic legal services -- in the same sort of pattern that occurred with routine manufacturing work. Today, according to Pink, anything that is routine -- that is, anything that can be reduced to a script, to a spec sheet, to a set of rules -- this kind of work increasingly is going to disappear from the United States, Canada, Western Europe, and Japan, because that kind of work can get done more cheaply by computers and by people overseas. Many other economists agree with him.

The impact of all this on professional counseling, coaching, and consulting is enormous. And this does not take into account the worldwide economic and financial depression with the all-encompassing changes that it is forcing on almost all nations. Auto workers are turning to careers as nurses; Wall Street will never return to what it once was (which is a good thing);

Thesis on Workplace Is Changing This Is a Guideline Assignment

CPAs by the thousands are losing their small businesses to software that can do everything they can, but faster and with fewer errors. Think Turbo-Tax. It cost $30 compared to two or three times that for a human. Those brand new Harvard business school graduates who used to receive six-figure starting salaries are out en-masse trying to find any employment they can at places like Starbucks. And our magnificent auto industry is forever gone as we knew it.

The relationship between counselor, career development, HR, and the ever-changing workplace is becoming more intertwined. Students must be prepared for a work life of transition instead of permanence. Career development may become a significant organizing framework around which school curriculum is created and implemented. And the seasoned counselor as well as the recent graduate will need to be just as prepared to disseminate this "new global" concept of work life, career, and workplace.

Time.com (2009) reports that the only employer hiring more college graduates than they did last year, is the U.S. government. Not only that, but companies who are hiring, in many cases, are hiring for internships instead of full-time jobs. And if that's not bad enough, according to the National Association for Colleges and Employers (NACE), as many as eight per cent of employers will be forced to rescind at least some of the offers they made last fall (Fitzpatrick, 2009, par. 8).

Again, this brings about a significant impact on counselors to creatively encourage graduates to look to the school's alumni for assistance, and conduct workshops with an emphasis on networking and this transitional environment (Fitzpatrick, 2009, par. 7).

At the other end of the working spectrum, we can look at retirees, or those who thought they would be retirees. Talk about changes in the workplace. It is true that economic hard-times increase the rate of change. And our current situation is no exception. For baby-boomers, many of whom planned to continue working anyway, employment has now become a necessity. With their 401Ks wiped out they have no choice. And with healthcare in the mess that it is, as acknowledged by just about everyone, even with Medicare, those over 65 must also pay for more of their total medical needs (Farrell, 2009).

What has this to do with workplace changes and career development? Plenty. If we have millions of baby-boomers working, those places cannot be taken by younger workers. If baby-boomers cannot afford the cost of living, more of them move in with their children. This places a financial burden on the kids. Does the wife now have to go back to work to support mom and dad? Or if they don't move in, they may be asking for a loan. That didn't happen often before because they had their retirement plan and savings to fall back on. Now they don't.

Now, how many of these younger workers who are supporting mom and dad, are impacted to the point of modifying or adjusting their careers to accommodate the parents? We don't know the answer to that.

But are counselors and the HR folks prepared to deal with the career development changes it might cause? Do companies now need to adapt to flex hours of some sort and creative management of their human resources to deal with the retiree-age employees and the folks who take care of them? And what is their advice and counsel to the tens of thousands of college grads that may be facing such a situation with parents? "Oh, hang in there, everything will be all right?" probably won't go far to solve the problem. Again, just one more situation that impacts counselors and HR folks in the changing workplace.

Another unique change in the work place that greatly impacts counseling is that of the expanding role of same-sex couples in the work place. It may be said that the situations should be no different regarding the work place, but particularly if both partners are working, roles sometimes can become confused and it becomes a particular counseling issue to assist them with.

In a volatile work environment such as we have now, the same-sex partners face issues such as the health insurance covering only the working individual and not the partner. So, while each may be covered, if one is laid off, he or she may not be able to depend on the partner's insurance as it is so with the heterosexual couple. So the burden of now having to find and pay for separate health care is added to the loss of wages due to lay off (Perrone, 2005).

Discrimination in the work place, whether we wish to believe it or not, is also a key issue that counselors and HR personnel have to deal with for homosexual partners. And, of course, this is an issue that ties directly into career development as it can significantly impact that aspect of a gay person's work life. It must be noted by counselors that the gay community will consider the potential Discrimination that may come their way when they choose a profession or career.

Pope (1995) suggested that it is important for career counselors to talk openly with clients about types of employment discrimination and relevant laws and employment policies. He also pointed out how helpful it might be for counselors to discuss issues related to coming out in the workplace, such as how best do this and the potential advantages and disadvantages of self-disclosure. It may be the role of the counselor also to advise gay couples as to what work environments might be most inclusive of or open to their lifestyle (Perrone, 2005, p. 1).

The articles I studied from Time, Fortune, Industry Week, Entrepreneur, and Business Week, though covering different aspects of career development and the changes taking hold in the work place, all seemed to have either a primary or underlying theme of change -- transition really -- from the way things were to the new work place environment.

It is this enormous group of baby-boomers affecting the marketplace, the growing number of same-sex couples entering the workplace, the effects of the economic and financial situation, the "green" industry and what will become its momentous impact, and the globalization of economies, industries and financial institutions.

All of this and more, the articles I read are saying, presents both opportunities and hurdles. It is not all good, but definitely not all bad. But clearly I received the message that it is here to stay -- not a passing phase -- and everything will not go back to "normal" once the economy turns around again and the housing market and unemployment rates recover.

The impact on both career development and counseling seem enormous as this much change takes place at once and all around the globe. The adapting that HR departments, school, and professional career counselors need to make beginning "yesterday," are mind-boggling. The question I had after this reading is, are we prepared to deal with the transition. Are we counseling young college students in their first year of school about the lack of permanence, that their lives will be ones… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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