Unless you’ve been living under a rock in the backyard of a hermit, you’ve probably heard a thing or two about â€œsourcingâ€, or â€œglobalizationâ€. I’m reading a book called â€œThe world is flatâ€ (yes, I’m still reading it. I’m going to finish it soon). I mentioned, previously, that this book talks a lot about how our world economy is changing and all the forces that are impacting it. The reality is that this isn’t your grandfather’s economy any more. It’s never been more important to put some thought in to what you do today, and what you should be doing tomorrow.
Jobs such as computer programming used to be thought of as â€œcareersâ€. Once you had the skills and got the job, you were set for life. Just put your time in each day at the company and you could expect a nice fat salary, pension, 401K, and health care in retirement. That’s not the case any more. More and more jobs are now in scope for moving out of the country to lower wage areas. Here is just a small list of jobs that are going overseas:
-Basic accountant services
-Business process automation
Basically, any service that doesn’t need to be performed in a localized fashion is ripe for global sourcing. With the advances in technology, more and more things like data and images can be quickly moved across the wire and used to perform the work in another location.
What kinds of jobs are safe from being sourced globally? Any job that has to be performed in a local area. Below are some examples:
-Police, Fire, Ambulance
-Direct health care
-Security related jobs, such as computing security or physical security
You get the idea. Jobs that are localized to their core are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to source globally. How about the McDonald’s drive thru employee? That sure seems like something that has to be staffed locally. Well, not necessarily. Just when you think it seems pretty obvious which jobs are capable of being sourced globally, a curve ball like this comes at you. Sure, they need someone to hand you the food, but the person that takes your order can be across town, across the country, or across the world.
So, what can we do? Just like you should always be planning your financial future, you also need to plan your employment future. Are you in a job that is easily sourced? Do you sit at your screen all day analyzing data? If so, you should start asking yourself, â€œWhat makes me unique? Why can’t this company move my job somewhere else?â€ â€œWhat types of skills are not easily found in other countries, or companies?â€ One answer to this is company knowledge. Do you understand the requirements of your customers? Do you understand the core competencies of your company? These are the types of skills that aren’t easily sourced in this country, or any other country. The intimate knowledge you have of your customers, company, and competitors gives you an edge.
It’s not an easy subject to think about but it’s critical to consider how you are positioned for a rapidly advancing global economy, and whether you have the skills to compete. It’s no secret that â€œup and comingâ€ employees in other countries are hungry for prosperity and your job. Are you as hungry as they are? You better be.