There are many who are predicting that after this downturn in the economy the workplace will look different from the one we've known. Peter Weddle, a job board expert and writer on career topics sees a workplace with fewer permanent workers.

Weddle says that employers are hit with a depressed bottom line as well as rapid changes in customer tastes and needs. To respond to both in a cost effective way these employers see that they will need only a core of full time employees. He says that only the most talented workers will have those full time jobs.

Other workers will have short term project assignments and will be hired with the full understanding that the job ends on a particular date or at a specific occurrence. These too will be highly qualified and talented workers but they will have no guarantee from the company of long term employment.

Those of you who are unemployed right now are probably groaning at this prediction. Actually however some of the necessary steps in your current job search will help you in the future. The whole job search process is something you will need to get good at. Now is the time to:

• Take an inventory of your own skills and determine the ones that will be important in the future.
• Use the company research you've done for your job search to understand the trends in your industry.
• Learn where the opportunities are and where they are likely to be in the future.
• Insure that the work you plan to do is meaningful work for you.
• Get additional training in skill areas you determine will be needed in the future.
• Build your network of contacts for current and future use.

How will this change impact you in the future? The majority of workers will have to do many job searches. This may mean having 10-15 job changes over the course of your work life. What will that mean for you in terms of:

Learning new skills?
• Paying for your training?
• Saving for the future?
• Having health insurance?
• Understanding and using trending information?
• Finding meaningful work?
• Marketing and branding yourself?

We have been moving slowly in this direction for the past 8 or 9 years. The economic downturn and the failure of many large well established companies makes this kind of change even more likely now. The time is right for this new way to work. Can you find a way to do what is meaningful work for you in this changed job environment? Will you be ready to meet this challenge?

Author's Bio: 

Alvah Parker is a Practice Advisor (The Attorneys’ Coach) and a Career Changers’ Coach as well as publisher of "Parker’s Points", an email tip list and "Road to Success", an ezine. Subscribe now to these free monthly publications at her website and receive a values assessment as a gift. This assessment will identify your top 4 values. Working from your values makes the work more meaningful and fulfilling.