I read somewhere that the prized employees of the future will be those who have a demonstrated wealth of experience, courage to attempt and exhibit success in a variety of fields, and a willingness to adapt to an ever-changing world. I think this sentiment is right on the money.
In light of the decision that Holden will leave Australia, the need to reinvent ourselves as employees has been thrust into the national spotlight. I can’t help but feel for the thousands of workers. Sadly though, it seems some of them are playing the victim card, seeking compensation for the loss of their livelihoods, rather than exploring the opportunities that abound for those who wish to see it.
I was chatting to our neighbour during the week. He’s about 65 years old and makes swimsuits and costumes for schools and dance companies all across Australia. 30 years ago, he employed dozens of people – now, it’s him, his wife and daughter. The boom in textiles and cheap labour in China and other overseas countries made it impossible for him to do business in Australia. What is happening to the automotive industry today, happened to the textile industry 30 years ago he said. It’s simply a case of the cost of employment and production being cheaper elsewhere in the world. He wasn’t grumpy, just stating facts.
He’s right. And there’s no point getting upset about the loss of a livelihood. When this happens, it’s time to get smarter and secure our own future, not reliant upon handouts, welfare and other government initiatives.
* * * * *
I’ve been where the Holden workers are. Sort of. Twelve months ago I decided to leave the career I had trained for and become a specialist in. We had a love/hate relationship for a few years, so leaving became the best option. I wasn’t sacked and the industry didn’t move off shore, I just had an increasing feeling that I didn’t belong and it was time to move. I’ve written about leaving the institutional church many times and won’t say much more here. But I left with a theology degree and 10 years experience being a professional Christian. The problem was, in the real world, a theology degree doesn’t mean much, and doesn’t enhance your employability ranking.
I realised I needed to up skill myself to keep pace with the rapidly changing world. I needed to increase my skill set across a wide range of areas, experiences and disciplines that make enhance my employability. For example, the things I have learnt about online business, social media, blogging etc from simply having this blog has been phenomenal. These skills hold me in good stead for a future that is increasingly using online media to drive sales, make connections and increase demand for the services we provide.
It’s these realisations that led me to begin some more study.
I have just enrolled in a Certificate IV in Life Coaching. It’ll take about 12-24 months to complete. I’ll be specialising in Life Cycle and Workplace coaching which are two of my favourite areas. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but my allegiance to the ministry path gave me reason not to enrol.
* * * * *
Coaching has been a boom industry over the past decade or so, but also home to some dodgy practices. There are a lot of sharks within the coaching/personal development industry who are making a lot of money from unsuspecting people. People who are sincere in their desire for answers, but hugely misguided in what takes to achieve real joy and the sublime peace they crave. I have a feeling that this step to embark on some study will be the first of many on the road to unleashing some kingdom ethics into a sub-culture that desperately needs it.
I guess too, when I look at Jesus, his whole ministry was one of coaching and helping people to be who he’d created them to be. His deepest desire was to see people in right relationship with the Father, and enjoy the freedom of becoming who we are meant to be.
I’m not sure where it’ll lead, but I’m super keen to start coaching others and finding a niche within an industry that continues to grow. I feel like there is a place for me in the coaching sphere. And now that I’ve walked away from professional Christian ministry, life coaching is the closest thing I could find that suited the description of what I truly loved about my previous career life.
Sometimes the future we need to embrace is one that is forced upon us to make a move. Sometimes we choose to move ourselves. Donald Miller says that unless we take deliberate steps to move our story along, we just become another extra in someone else’s story. And being an extra isn’t much fun.
I’m pretty sure this is the first step in a whole new direction as my story takes a twist and I live wide open to the future.
How are you upskilling yourself?