“I can’t wait for this all to be over.”

People the world over are sick of pandemic-fatigue.

But we won’t be going back to how it was, and there will be no ‘new normal’ tomorrow.

Things have always been changing and they will continue to change.

We’ve had the common ‘flu virus for as long as we can remember.

In recent years, we’ve also had HIV, vCJD, Bird ‘flu, SARS, Swine ‘flu, MERS, Ebola, Zika, and now Covid-19

We will continue to have viruses in the future; maybe Covid-19 will stay with us, or ‘morph into Covid-20.

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But that’s not all that’s changing.  Numerous jobs have disappeared over the last century.  Remember lift operators and switchboard operators?

Technological changes

Yes, ongoing developments in automation (4IR) will radically change the world we have known, forever.

Today, “In Germany, almost 300,000 metalworking and electrical jobs in the car industry are at risk due to the economic fallout from the pandemic and the advent of the electric cars, which need different manufacturing skills.” According to the WEF.

Jobs in mining

We know all about job loss in South Africa.  In 2006, we were the world’s largest gold producer.  Gold was once the largest employer in our mining industry.  “In 1987, employment in the [mining] industry peaked at just over 760 000 individuals” notes Stats SA.

By 2015, the size of the mining workforce was estimated at 490 146 individuals.

Then, in July 2018, MCSA announced that “75% of mines in South Africa are now unprofitable due to decline in gold reserves.”  “Stats SA … estimates that South Africa has only 39 years of available gold resources remaining”

Miners have been losing their jobs for decades.  Stats SA reported that: “Last year, only 95 130 people were employed by South Africa’s gold mining industry.”  How are mineworkers supposed to deal with such devastating changes?

“… either we adapt to the changes or we drive the changes.”

Change and insecurity affects us all.  It’s how we respond that makes the difference.  That is up to us: To survive and to thrive, either we adapt to the changes or we drive the changes.

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Whatever we choose, we are forced to acknowledge that the only constant is change.

We can take our cue from Rob Siltanen, creative director on Apple’s Think Different campaign, who coined the phrase: “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”

But. in the end, as Benjamin Franklin observed: “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.”

2020/08/31

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Click here if you want to discuss whether we should “adapt to the changes or drive the changes”

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