Year-end is a favorite time to take a true assessment of your job. Whether you're actively searching for a new position or fear the ax sometime in 1995, there are two good books now out to guide you through this fast-changing job market.
The first is a thoughtful look at how drastically our economy has shifted in the last 10 years or so as companies have become more technologically bound and globally reaching.
The consequence, argues author William Bridges, is that the 8-to-5 job we traditionally have clung to as a society is fast on its way to extinction. For those anticipating the Information Age and all its fallout, Bridges suggests that it's already here and that the economic transformation is well under way.
He discusses this concept and how to adapt to the new economy in "JobShift: How to Prosper in a Workplace Without Jobs" (Addison Wesley publishers, Reading, Mass., 258 pages, $22).
Many readers will remember Bridges as the author of the best-selling "Transitions" and "Managing Transitions." The Wall Street Journal listed him in 1993 among the Top 10 executive development consultants in the country.
Bridges spends the first half of his new book developing his theory of the shifting economy, using myriad examples.
For instance, consider the following assessments from the book:
Three out of 10 of the largest American industrial firms now hire outside workers for at least half their manufacturing.
Economists predict that 85 percent of those who lost white-collar jobs in the last recession will never get them back.
Manpower, the temporary worker agency, is now the largest employer in the United States, with 560,000 workers. Employees at Bank of America recently leaked a memo stating that the bank wants to reduce its full-time work force to 19 percent of all employees.
The flattening of corporate hierarchies, reworked management concepts such as self-managed teams and just-in-time systems, and technological advances such as telecommuting have taken and will continue to take the traditional job to a different level, Bridges argues.
"Throughout today's work world, we …