Dealing with Job Losses Due to Changing Trends & Technologies
According to a report by PetroLMI, direct employment in Canada’s oil and gas sector is expected to fall by more than 12,000 jobs this year. The expected decline is due to various factors, including low commodity prices, a decline in capital spending, and uncertainty about getting oil and gas to market.
Employment is expected to decline in most oil-producing provinces, except British Columbia, which should benefit from new pipeline and natural gas processing activity. Alberta is expected to have the most jobs at risk at 9,600.
The oil and gas sector may not be the only industry to experience job losses in the near future. In 2017, the Bank of Canada warned that automation and technical advancements could lead to job losses and greater income inequality for many Canadians across the country.
In fact, a 2018 RBC report found that 50% of Canadian jobs will be disrupted by automation in the next 10 years.
How to Adapt to Technological Changes
The job market is uncertain, and this is especially true if you are trying to predict the future. This means you may not be able to determine if your job is at risk of being replaced by automation or changing trends. However, it’s important to note that while technologies and trends will result in job losses, they will create new jobs and opportunities as well. Being prepared for these new opportunities will be key for all Canadians.
One factor that will likely hold true for nearly every industry and every career is that the future will require continuous learning. A focus on learning will be one of the most important aspects to staying employed in the future. If your industry is potentially at risk, you may wish to consider what training may be required to adapt to the changing landscape.
Jobs that will be the least-likely to be affected by technological changes are creative work, work focused on building relationships with people, and skilled trade work. These roles are more difficult to automate. However, as evidenced by the oil and gas sector, any industry could potentially be disrupted by various factors and job losses could be possible no matter what you do.
This is where being adaptable and learning skills that can translate across positions and industries is so important.
If you Lose Your Job Due to Changing Trends
If your profession or your industry is disrupted by changing trends or technological advancements, this change may happen quickly without giving you time to prepare. However, if you notice that your industry appears to be struggling, if your employer has already made some layoffs, or if sales at your company are down, these are potential warning signs that you should pay attention to.
There are several steps you should take at this point:
- Increase your emergency savings
- Having an emergency savings fund is critical for everyone, especially for those who may lose their jobs. Your emergency savings can help you afford your expenses if you lose your income, and you could potentially use your savings to pay for new training to help you find another job if this is required.
- Try to put aside some money each month to increase your emergency fund. If you currently have emergency savings, consider increasing the amount you put aside so that you have a healthy fund if you lose your job.
- If you don’t currently have an emergency savings fund, this is a good time to start one. Even if you can only put aside a small amount each month, this is better than nothing. Increase the amount you are putting aside every month over time.
- Adjust your budget
- Reducing your monthly spending can be an excellent way to increase your emergency savings. Take a look at your monthly expenses and see where you can make adjustments and cuts. Whatever you can cut from your budget now can help you prepare for the future. In addition, if you learn to live off a reduced budget at this point, it will be easier for you to cope if you do become unemployed.
- Start researching new opportunities
- Finding a new job usually takes several months, and potentially longer if you are switching fields or areas of work. This means the sooner you start looking, the less time you will potentially be without an income.
- If you are considering taking new training or courses, start researching potential careers and determine what you need to do to become qualified for these roles. You’ll also want to make sure that you budget for the cost of any training you may take.