There are a wave of changes crashing onto the corporate shores that will significantly impact your career in 2019. Several main themes are emerging that have the magnitude to either help or hurt your career—depending on the nature of your job. These rapid changes will create a seismic divide between those who benefit and the many who won’t.
A trend that will intensifying in its ferocity is the movement of jobs to lower cost cities within the United States and to an array of foreign countries, in an effort to save corporations vast sums of money. Shifting corporate offices and personnel to these cheaper locations will save the companies on real estate, taxes and salaries. Executives will count on many employees opting not to move. These employees will be skewed older, have families and not inclined to pull their children out of school and away from their friends. A spouse may not have the ability to find a suitable job in the new place. When the experienced personnel refuse to move, they will be offered a package to leave or their lives will be made excruciatingly difficult to coerce them into searching for a new job. After the person is no longer with the firm, the level of the position will be downgraded and the person offered the position will be paid considerably less money, but given similar responsibilities to the senior person who left. For those who elect to remain, they will not complain or push too hard for salary increases, as they will fear being fired or forced to relocate.
Along with moving jobs, companies will implement—with rapid speed—new technology and artificial intelligence to further cut headcount and save money. AI is being pushed into every company and is viewed by management as a miracle cure to get things done efficiently without actual human beings. In reality, it is an excuse to downsize people and save money.
Age discrimination will become rampant. It is one of the few areas where prejudices are overlooked and condoned. It is not necessarily because companies don’t like older workers; it’s that they have more experience, so they earn more money compared to younger colleagues, their insurance costs are presumed higher and they’re not as easily manipulated as younger employees with mountains of debt to pay off. It will be convenient for management to target experienced and well-paid personnel with specious claims about their work product, in an effort to bully them into leaving.
Unemployment levels won’t remain at the historically low level where they are now. Unemployment will jump significantly higher. The tax cuts and other stimulants, which helped create a hiring boom, will wear off like a sugar high. Fear of trade wars, potentially high levels of tariffs, a volatile stock market that will transcend into a bear market leading to a recession will make companies layoff workers and pump the breaks on hiring. They will hope that technology and moving people to other countries will compensate for the fewer bodies.