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3 Trends That Might Shape Your Career in 2017

What will the coming year bring for your career? No one has a crystal ball, and much of what happens to your career depends on you. You’re the one who decides how to react to the opportunities and bumps in the road that come along in every career path. What might be a setback for someone else could turn out to be the beginning of something great for you. It all depends on what you do with it.
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That said, there are obviously some things that are beyond your control. You can’t force the economy and the job market to cooperate with your plans, for example. Which is why it’s in your best interests to prepare for what might be coming in the year ahead.

  1. Automation

First things first: robots probably aren’t going to come for your job in the next 12 months. Even the direst predictions are looking a few years out. Still, the dire view is pretty dire: some experts think that up to 47 percent of today’s jobs will be automated in the next 20 years or so.

What can you do about it to make sure robots don’t replace you this year or 20 years down the road? Train yourself to do something a robot can’t. Generally speaking, this means preparing for a job that requires more emotional intelligence and less repetitive, predictable work.

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  1. The Gig Economy

Even if you don’t drive for Uber on the weekends or look for freelance work via app during your space time, the gig economy is probably going to affect your life and career, if it hasn’t already. The future of work lies in the blended workforce — full-timers and freelancers, working together.

“In the past five years, the gig economy has become a major trend impacting the global workforce, and has created a new kind of diversity, with full-time permanent employees working side-by-side with freelancers,” writes Dan Schawbel at Forbes. “A study exploring the gig economy found that 93% of companies already identify the blended workforce as they’re seeing freelance workers teaming up with employees to work on projects together.”

Eventually, this changing workforce may even affect how we receive benefits, as labor groups advocate for portable benefits that follow workers, not jobs — thus ensuring that all types of workers have access to healthcare, paid time off, and more.

  1. Higher Minimum Wage

Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia will raise the minimum wage in 2017, boosting pay for millions of American workers. The best news for workers might be that 70 percent of these minimum wage hikes came from ballot initiatives, meaning that the people directly advocated for and received a higher wage. It doesn’t get much more grassroots than that.

Tell Us What You Think

Which trend do you think will affect your career the most in the coming year? We want to hear from you! Tell us your thoughts in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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