For this research, 50 CEO’s, chairs of associations, ex-ministers, assistant deputy ministers, academics and economists were asked what trends they thought would define the workplace of the future. I was at an event last week where I heard Kristina Hidas, VP of Research for The Human Resources Professional Association, HRPA, presenting their findings.

Here is a summary of the results, the cultural, demographic and technological shifts that will define the world of work over the next decade and beyond.

    1. Generation Differences – for the first time in our industrialized world, four generations are working together. Baby Boomers are reporting to managers the age of their children. Gen Yers are often perceived as lazy, too independent and casual in manner and attitude. Gen Xers are driven and focused and want the Baby Boomers to get out of their way. Which ever generation you fit into, be prepared in an interview to explain how you build rapport with each of the other generations.

    2. Post Secondary Education – Between 1997-2009, the number of 18-year-olds going to university doubled, while college student registration stayed the same. From 2012 to 2025 there will be more apprenticeship programs and less university graduates than the norm. When deciding on a career, broaden your scope and research trades, certification programs and apprenticeships as well as university degree programs.

    3. World Sourcing – Recruiting will be taking place worldwide more than ever before. That means more immigrants coming to Canada. Learn a second and third language and make yourself more saleable for global jobs. Made the world your playing field not just North America. Study abroad to broaden your network and job opportunities, even if only for a semester or summer school.

    4. Telework and Price of Oil – With the rising price of gas and oil, it will be too expensive to drive and commute to work as we head into 2025. The ability to work alone, out of your home, to be self motivated and to possess an entrepreneurial attitude in an intrapreneurial environment will be highly regarded.

    5. Contingent Workforce – What defines a JOB will change. Contract work is here to stay. Acquire entrepreneurial skills, resiliency and flexibility as permanent work will no longer be the norm.

    6. Immigration – Canada will be competing with other countries for immigrant talent. To remain competitive as a Canadian, higher education, more languages and global experience will prevail. Companies will have to work harder to integrate new Canadians into our culture and workplaces.

    7. Worklife Balance – Gen Yers are demanding worklife balance now. Soon worklife balance will be a condition of employment. Employers will introduce more health and safety programs and scheduling will be altered to accommodate this trend. Staying healthy will be more of a challenge and a necessity for longevity and wellness.

    8. Skilled Labour – This labor force will be at a premium, especially in the natural resources industry. Geology, geography, environmental studies and engineering technologists and scientists will be in huge demand.

    9. English Language Fluency – as globalization becomes more of the norm, which language work is done in will become less of an issue. The more languages you speak the more versatile you are for assignments in a broader range of countries and companies.

    10. Innovation – by the year 2020 five billion people will be connected to one another through social media, networks, and whatever means available to corporations and individuals. Start networking today and that means working your LinkedIn, joining “Groups”, taking the initiative to stay connected with new people you meet, and keeping in touch with existing contacts.

    11. Immigration Talent – Right now 70% of new comers to Canada face barriers to finding a job because their credentials are not recognized. Very soon foreign earned credentials will be more recognized in Canada, thereby job rivalry in medicine, health care, accounting, engineering, law, etc. will be more prevalent.

    12. Diversity and Full Inclusion – The laws governing disabled workers and workers with mental health issues means more integration of diversified workers into mainstream work environments. More accommodation will be required by employers to meet the needs of diversified workplaces.

Planning a career and career mapping your future is becoming a serious factor in deciding how you are going to spend the next 10 plus years of your working life. The average person today will have seven careers in their lifetime and change jobs about every three years. Are you doing everything you can to be a player?

See also:

  • Career trending: Where the jobs will be through 2020 and beyond
  • What to study: Preparing for the 20 most in-demand jobs from now through 2020

  • Colleen Clarke, Career Specialist & Corporate Trainer

    Author of Networking How to Build Relationships That Count, How to Get a Job and Keep It

    Co-author of The Power of Mentorship; The Mastermind Group