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October 2019

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As skills become the flavour not just of the month, but of a generation, increasingly employers are looking for ‘one man bands’ to bring onto their team. It seems that newcomers to the employment market are expected to be able to write the theme tune, sing the theme tune and come up with a multi-stage marketing strategy to ‘roll-out’ the theme tune to their client base.

With so many fingers in pies, so many strands to their bow (and so many metaphors on the go) it begs the question whether millennials will ever have a ‘job for life’ in the same way their parents and grandparents did. Even with up-and-coming career types, it’s unusual to come across a 20 or 30-something who hasn’t got some kind of freelance gig on the side.

Whether that’s blogging, secretly trying to become Instagram famous or crowdfunding for charitable or entrepreneurial pursuits, it seems my peers are constantly moonlighting as something more than their desk job. It’s difficult to tell if this comes from an extortionate sense of self-belief we were endowed with (the perks of being parented by a generation who never had the luxury of ‘following their Disney dreams’ – thanks mum and dad) or the undeniable ‘world-at-our-fingertips’ effect of being hooked up to the Internet 24/7.

Here at Connect we’re always looking at trends in the world of business whether that’s industries hard hit by a landscape of staff shortages as in this month’s ‘No Ordinary Day Job’ with Jersey Hospitality Association’s Simon Soar, or a health check on the island’s stalwart trust industry with the new JATCo President Lorraine Wheeler.

With the big B-word looming on this month’s horizon so too does an insidious sense of uncertainty creeping up on all of us. Much like petrified ‘remain’ voters stockpiling tinned goods to prepare for a no-deal Brexit, it seems like millennials are gathering skills in the event they have to weather a completely unpredictable politico-socio-economic landscape by the time they start their careers. 

This gives rise to an incessant (and frankly pretty annoying) internal monologue guest-starring such thoughts as: “Why haven’t I learned to code yet?”, “When will I find the time to learn Mandarin?” and “I should start a YouTube channel as a fall-back plan.”

As employer expectations skyrocket along  with requirements both within and outside  of candidates’ school life – ‘proper jobs’ are becoming both far less attainable and desirable to a generation that sees themselves as citizens of the world who are never tied down to one place (partially because we can’t afford to buy property – but that’s not the point!)

Imagining up an alternative career for yourself which caters to all these contradicting and unexpected cacophony of skills and expectations is exactly what the subject of this edition’s Special Report Ken Banks did. But, whilst he was doing this in the age of LiveAid, thinking outside the box in this way in the era of Facebook Live doesn’t feel quite so pioneering.

In a world increasingly defined by multiple crises – Brexit, the climate emergency and the growing conversation surrounding mental health – it’s a wonder we get anything done at all.

But for now, take a deep breath and enjoy Connect.

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