You know how when you are reading the paper and you read about an older plant which is spending millions on retooling. That is, tearing out old equipment, and putting in state of the art new equipment which hopefully, is faster, cheaper or more in line with the current economy.

I got thinking, should we look at retooling for ourselves? Should we be learning new skills?  Evaluate how we do what it is we do? We need to be aware that we like the old factory sometimes need to honestly review our current skill sets to see if they are relevant in today’s economy and will they keep us employed in tomorrows?

I am not trying to spread fear or hopelessness; I just don’t want us in denial.

We need to change before we have to. So what can we do? Firstly, that job you took at twenty-three because it was there, is it still what you want?  Are you needing a change of industries or are some more specialized knowledge within our field. You may need to crack the books, take some courses, or take aptitude tests. Learn from the possible.

Secondly, is it your industry which is changing? Has robotics, computerization or just changing tastes made your industry seem irrelevant? Do you have the training to make sure when the “right sizing” happens it is you that has the skills to either be held on or be able to quickly move to a new position?

Can something be done? Yes, but you have to ACT and ACT NOW.  And if you think you’re close to taking the gold watch think again.  More and more people are staying working because of need or because they love their job. So, find out what your employers need you to know. Is there new certification you can get?  I know of several millwrights who bragged about not cracking a book because they were “craftsmen” who are not only unemployed, but unemployable. Why, because they didn’t stay current with the technology. They refused to become lifelong learners. They claim to be craftsman but they aren’t because a true craftsmen never quits learning, never quits perfecting their craft.

Resenting changes is useless; change is a constant.  Google the term “luddites”  if you want to see a group that refused to change.

So my prescription such as it is: Stay positive, focus on the future and take the steps necessary to avoid becoming a victim of change.

Till we chat again,