When I spoke at the Maryland Career Development Association annual conference last month, I enjoyed a keynote address from the president of the National Career Development Association, Sharon Givens. Among other fascinating trends and facts, she shared these about automation:

  • 47% of US employment is at high risk of automation in the next decade or two (Oxford Martin School)
  • Roughly 50% of work activities are automatable using current technology (McKinsey Global Institute)
  • In 2022 AI will eliminate 75 million jobs (World Economic Forum)
  • Over the next few decades approximately 25% of US employment will have experienced high exposure to automation (Brookings Institute)

Then the coolest thing was her introducing a website where you could look up your job to see the chances of a robot taking your job!

To see the future of your job click below to go to:

Will Robots Take My Job?

You can also see lists of jobs at high risk, low risk and a “hot jobs” list of low risk, high growth, high wage jobs.

Here is a diverse sample of jobs at low risk from the top 50:

  • Occupational Therapists
  • Neuropsychologists
  • Special Education Teachers
  • Photographers
  • Supervisors of Firefighters
  • Fitness and Wellness
  • Lodging Managers
  • Security Managers
  • Conservation Scientists
  • Clergy

(Plus many health care and teaching jobs.)

Here is a diverse sample of jobs at high risk from the top 50:

  • Food Science Technicians
  • Tax Preparers
  • Manicurists
  • Real Estate Brokers
  • Legal Secretaries
  • Insurance Claims Clerks
  • Umpires and Referees
  • Credit Analysts
  • Cytotechnologists
  • Models

Check out this Forbes Article for tips from embracing AI to becoming highly emotionally intelligent:

WORRIED ABOUT AI TAKING OVER? HERE ARE 13 WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR JOB

W

I was thrilled to be the sole expert interviewed for an article by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for their March 20, 2022 Spring Education Guide. Reporter Vanessa Orr wrote the extensive piece, Career Counseling Can Help Students Make Grounded Choices. I hope you can share the article (below and linked) with parents of any high school students. I offer a short four-session High School Advising Package to help with choices for education paths at all levels, including apprenticeships as well as the gap year choice. Sophomore year is the ideal time.

March 20, 2022

Imagine spending thousands of dollars on a college education and then realizing that the career field you majored in wasn’t really what you wanted to do. It happens all the time, and not only is it a waste of money to pursue the wrong degree, but if you have to go back to school, it can cost you a lot more time in the long run.

Finding out a student’s interests, as well as what they’re good at, is one of the goals of career coaching.

“Students and parents are often so focused on choosing a college and picking a major that they’re not always looking at the big picture,” explains Karen Litzinger, MA, LPC, of Litzinger Career Consulting. “Are they making a grounded choice, and what careers connect to it?

“Rarely do high school students undergo a comprehensive personalized career assessment, which involves first looking at yourself in terms of four things—interests, skills, values and personality,” she continues. “The other half is exploring what’s out there in terms of majors and careers.”

Considering that the U.S. Department of Education reports that roughly one-third of students in bachelor’s degree programs and 28 percent of those in associate’s degree programs change majors within three years of enrolling, it’s important that students have a good handle on what they want out of an education. About 1 in 10 students change majors more than once.

“This is an indication that students are not making the best or most grounded decisions,” says Litzinger. “Ideally, they should network with people in a few fields of interest or job shadow or volunteer to test out a career before making that decision.

This is especially important when considering how much it costs to go to college.

“People graduate with tens of thousands of dollars in debt—it’s a national crisis and it definitely limits what one can do in terms of career choices,” says Litzinger. “This type of debt also impacts things like the ability to buy a house or to get married.”

Litzinger advises the students that she coaches to be open to a wide range of options.

“For decades, people viewed college as the only ticket to success, but now society is starting to realize that there are high-paying, highly skilled jobs that can be very rewarding in the trades,” she says. “I always bring that up as part of the landscape because a bachelor’s degree isn’t for everybody.”

While some parents may feel the need to pressure students to make a decision, this may not be the right approach.  

“Parents are just trying to help their sons or daughters as much as possible, and they are naturally concerned about their child’s future security,” says Litzinger. “But what works best is when a parent tries to really facilitate the process by recognizing the individuality of that child rather than their own views or experiences.

“Even well-meaning parents may find that they can run into emotional conflicts during this time, which is why they will often call a college or career counselor,” she adds.

While counseling is available in most schools, the reality is that the student-to-counselor ratio is very high, making it almost impossible for students to receive individualized help.

“With so many other things to do, including discipline and scheduling, school counselor may focus more on students just getting into college rather than clarifying goals, or asking how and why a student chose something,” said Litzinger.

“The goal is to not have them narrow their choices to one; whether looking at colleges or trade schools, they should always have at least two education angles in mind,” said Litzinger.

She emphasized the importance of working with students to determine their interests, skills, values and personality, and having them take part in career-researching assignments.

“This is a bigger decision than most people realize,” she added, noting that 63 percent of students seeking a bachelor’s degree now graduate within six years instead of four. “It’s important to invest in what needs to be done to make a grounded decision.”

“What did you do during your summer vacation” has been replaced by “How are you managing during the pandemic?” It’s hard to believe summer is about over. It flew by for me being busier than ever with so many people re-evaluating their jobs and seeking greater happiness: pandemic perspective-taking.

The photo featured is the “coffee shop” wall I created in one of my rooms where I could write my book since the coffee shop where I did most of my writing was closed.  What did you create? What did you learn? What do you want to do differently in your life due to the pandemic?  I invite you to take time to reflect.

Job seekers will need to answer the new interview questions: “How did you spend your time during the pandemic?” and “What did you learn during the pandemic.” I’d like to share some strategies on that as well as a couple links to remote working and “the great resignation”, two topics I was interviewed about by KDKA radio during the summer.

Remote Working: The work landscape has changed forever. Interestingly workers have different needs.  In the Microsoft 2021 Work Trend Index, 73% of employees want remote work options to stay, and 67% of employees want more in-person work or collaboration. Hybrid it is!

The Great Resignation: What has also been referred to as the Turnover Tsunami is underway. Early research was done by Prudential Financial which found that 26% of workers planned to start interviewing once the pandemic subsided, higher for Gen X’ers at 34%.Of the job changers, 72% said the pandemic caused them to rethink their skill sets. A later Microsoft survey found that 41% of workers globally were planning to quit their job. CLICK HERE for a nice summary of trends.

The New Interview Questions: Even though employers may be more forgiving of long-term unemployment during the pandemic, others will wonder if you just decided to enjoy the summer due to added government benefits.  It’s not too late to take some action to have an answer to the question, “What did you do during the pandemic?”  In addition to mentioning specific health concerns or caretaking responsibilities, it is legitimate to say: “I decided to take some time to re-evaluate my career choice including career counseling/career research/networking/volunteering, and it helped me to clarify my goal of ______________  which is why I’m so pleased to be interviewing with you today.”  Better yet, “During the pandemic, I decided to use some time to build my skills, including taking on-line courses in ____ and ____. Doing so confirmed my career interest in _____ and I know these new skills will be an asset to your company. 

For free on-line courses, CLICK HERE.

There is still time to do something that you can use for this interview answer!  Plus now is still a good time for career counseling to re-evaluate and gain greater happiness.

My friends at March Consulting have created a totally free online virtual event called The Ultimate Guide to College. In this 7-day summit experience that starts this Thursday, September 22, the March Consulting team will be interviewing 15 experts (including me!) in their various fields of work that will leave you with a better understanding of today’s current college landscape, and a career beyond! Please forward this email to friends and family who may benefit.

Topics include: College Admissions, STEM, testing, financial aid, performing arts, athletics, and careers.

Be sure to watch my interview on September 28th, where I will be discussing how to make good educational and career decisions saving time, money and heartache.  Your future is in your hands! I give a shout out to all levels of education, including apprenticeships!

This summit is an excellent opportunity for a wide range of students (and parents) to be exposed to different options for their future in an informative, fun, casual, and distanced environment. I so encourage anyone wanting to catch up with what I’m doing, or even just what these trends are looking like currently to check it out!

It is FREE OF CHARGE, (all you have to do is register here): https://www.theultimateguidetocollege.com/

Check out this amazing new program, innovatively created for pandemic times!

Karen

I wrote an article early in the pandemic about suggestions on how to take action even when you think there isn’t much you can do during difficult economic times. I was pleased to present a mini-program about this at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Career Expo on August 20. Whether you are unemployed or simply unhappy in your current role, this high-energy video with props will give you some ideas.

The first half is the program and the second half is a practical Q & A. For a (slightly less fun) reading version of the program, click here for my earlier blog post.

I’ve been invited to be the featured program presenter for another Post-Gazette Career Expo:

Reinventing Yourself during Pandemic Times

Thursday, October 22, 11:00 – 11:15 AM

This will be relevant to both unemployed folks whose industries were impacted by the pandemic job market and employed folks who are considering a career change due to pandemic re-evaluation.

Another alternative to setting resolutions and goals came to my inbox from Robert Holden. He shared this sentence from A Course in Miracles: “A healed mind does not plan. It carries out the plan that it receives through listening to wisdom that is not its own.”  These are the four spiritually oriented-questions, he suggests to ask:

-How shall I follow my heart?

-What does God wish for me this year?

-What does my Angel (Angel Guides) was me to focus on this year?

-What does my Soul most want for me this year?

If this spiritual language does not fit your orientation, consider using “heart” in each sentence…or inner wisdom, inner guidance, intuition.

Set aside some quiet time, then listen.

Is there a co-worker or client who treated you poorly? Or a supervisor who passed you over for a promotion?  Or perhaps you were terminated from your job and still feeling resentment or anger? Whether in work or personal life, the act of forgiveness is for you, to set you free of resentment and bondage. Not forgiving someone or an institution gives them power over you. It can affect you emotionally, mentally and physically.  In the job search, the emotions of resentment or victimhood can seep out, including during networking attempts.  On your job, the negative emotions may contaminate the good work you do and impact your progress as well as your happiness.

Forgiving isn’t excusing poor behavior or seeing it as acceptable. Ask yourself if reliving or holding on to the past is helpful to you.  You can choose to forgive someone directly or within your heart.

If you feel a barrier to forgiveness, consider this alternative affirmation (by Anthony Diaz from the December 2018 Guide for Spiritual Living) to release your pain and open space for more positive things in your life:

“I release and move through this experience and the power it has over me easily and effortlessly. I let go of any pain or hurt I felt, knowing it no longer serves me or my life. I am open to those experiences that serve and support me on my journey.”

May this season of Light bring you insight to forgive and begin the year with more Lightness.

I was graced with the creative gifts of my church friends at my 60th birthday dance party. They crowned me Dancing Queen and serenaded me with personalized lyrics to that song, preceded by a memorable poem about me.

What creativity might be in you to be manifested, whether in your career or personal life?

After their gift, I shared a favorite song by Motown artist, Eddie Watkins, Jr. that speaks to creativity and enthusiasm for life.

“What are we gonna create today?

The universe is ready to play.

Spirit surely will lead the way.

Just say Yes.”

The lyrics are from his song, “I’m going to Say Yes to Life.” Eddie has recorded with Marvin Gaye, James Brown, Diana Ross, the Pointer Sisters, among others.

What might you be ready to say Yes to?  If you would like to explore more career enthusiasm and creativity, I’d love to help.

I enjoyed creating my birthday party, “Dancing through the Decades with Karen.” From Dancing in the Moonlight on the back deck to a grand finale of Katy Perry Firework with sparklers, creativity sparked my energy.

Inspired treats were a Buy Local theme, featuring products from the Swissvale Farmers Market and four Swissvale restaurants.

Related to the buy local theme of my party, I stumbled on beautiful mandala products the week before at a Mind Body Spirit Fair, and purchased four lovely coasters with quotes on the back.  Artist, Mara Carlini, shared that her art came from creating a mandala for her wedding for guests to sign.  From experiencing the powerful energy of the messages in her home, she was inspired to create pieces infusing them with specific intentions during the creation process.

I met another inspiring artist during my 60th birthday vacation retreat on Lake Erie in Cleveland. Walking into the warehouse-sized Waterloo 7 Studio/Gallery, I felt I was in another world. Jerry Schmidt takes used materials and recycles them into mind blowing, often larger than life sculptures.  Jerry told me he was drawn to this work from seeing his father only be happy when he was in his artist studio.  He shared that instead of going to bed concerned about troubles, he drifts off thinking about creative art possibilities.

My Air BnB vacation spot was hosted by Cindy Barber, owner of Beachland Ballroom in the Waterloo Arts District of Cleveland. Another creative visionary.  After big unhappy changes at her employment, Cindy purchased an old Croatian club in 2000 where she cofounded this music venue that hosts performers from across the country on a daily basis.  This was the cornerstone of rejuvenating a section of Cleveland, creating this arts district.  It was during a monthly Walk All Over Waterloo that I met Jerry Schmidt and many other artists.  Cindy’s made a real difference in her community.

What might you like to create in your career, your community, your life?  I’d love to help you explore your passions and talents.

As for me….I’m excited about the next decade and saying YES to life!

There’s no magic crystal ball showing the jobs of the future. However, my respected colleague, Jim Peacock, wrote an excellent newsletter in July about the future of work with fascinating links I want to share.

My favorite is from the World Economic Forum even though it is 18 months old. The article, 4 Predictions for the Future of Work, shares this (in the article’s exact words):

  1. AI and robotics will create more jobs, not mass unemployment — as long as we responsibly guide innovation
  2. Cities will compete against other cities in the war for top talent
  3. The majority of the US workforce will freelance by 2027
  4. Education breaks out of the silo

Click HERE for the complete article.

The other three articles that are worth a read are:

It’s all a reminder that no jobs are secure, and we need to be doing career planning on an ongoing basis.

Introducing yourself to new people or making an introduction to someone new doesn’t have to be awkward.  A few simple steps and phrases will serve you in any circumstance, whether socially, at the office, or at a networking event. Also read on for help when you forget someone’s name.

To introduce someone to someone else:

  1. Start with the name of the most important person.  In business, this would be the person at the highest seniority level for internal introductions.  If one of the people is a customer, client or guest, that person is the most important, so start with their name.  Socially, importance is often based on age.
  2. Use introducing phrases. Examples would be “I’d like to introduce _______” Or “please meet___.”   More common language may be “I’d like to introduce you to ______” Or I’d like you to meet _____. “
  3. Share brief, relevant background of each. This might include job titles or role, business at hand, or a segue into a conversation.

Example: Ms. Client, I’d like to introduce you to Sam Smith who is Vice President of Sales.  Ms. Client, is Supply Chain Manager at ABC company and is here for a meeting about our new XYZ product line.

Example: Mayor Jones, I’d like to introduce you to my colleague, Sally Singh, who is Director of Community Relations for our bank.  We were just talking about what a nice event your town is hosting.

Proper etiquette is to not use first names until invited to do so.  Norms can vary by industry and organizational culture.  Public officials and religious leaders should always be addressed by their title until invited otherwise.

Introducing yourself:

You may need to do this at a meeting, networking event or if someone is not making the introduction:

Example: Hello, my name is Hello, my name is Nora Numbers, a staff accountant. Welcome to ABC&D. (or How do you do or It’s nice to meet you)

Example: Hi my name is Fred Fundraiser from ABC agency.  I don’t believe we’ve met yet.

If you forget names:

Do something rather than hope the person hovering will go away or that someone will save you.

Example: I’d like to introduce you to Markita, who is one of our staff attorneys. (Markita will likely then extend a handshake and the guest whose name you forgot will introduce him/herself by name.)

Example: Mr. Client, I’d like to introduce you to one of our sales team members.  I’m so sorry, but I blanked on your name even though I remember we worked together on the ABC rollout. (And that person will then introduce him/herself.)

For more help in negotiating business etiquette in social situations, consider engaging me for my workshop: Power Mingling: Network with Ease and Effectiveness.  It is highly interactive and includes mock reception exercises. Click HERE for a small excerpt that is more in keynote format.

A good job market is a good time to explore a career or job change.  Would you like to be happier?  It’s much easier to make a move when you aren’t worried about just hanging onto a job in a bad market.

Pittsburgh has been in the news multiple times this past year for a top job market. In January of this year WalletHub noted Pittsburgh as #15 in its list of Best Places to Find a Job from research of 180 cities.  In October 2018, Glassdoor put Pittsburgh at #1. Click here for the article.

A May 28, 2019 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article gave highlights of more good news. The Pittsburgh region has seen a record low unemployment at 3.8% in April. The good job market has resulted in overall pay rising at 5.4% compared with 1% in PA and 2.5% nationwide. Top growth industries currently are construction, leisure/hospitality, and to a lesser degree, education.

If you’ve been thinking about a next move….if not now, when? I’d be happy to help!