By in Personal

What DO They Expect Us to Do?

I'm spending a fair amount of time at the moment bemoaning my lot. I'm an , and although there is still a need for our breed, finding a decently-paid role that is purely administrative and doesn't involve managing some over-paid, probably under-skilled executive's life or dealing with the is seriously hard work.

I have a role at the moment, but impending changes are going to have a big effect on it, and I don't know how much longer I'll be wanting to take office politics and control freaks on the chin without speaking out.

The main problem with my sector is that unless you are managing one of the aforementioned over-paid , the pay levels are quite low. In this area we have a perfect storm: low salaries and high living costs. South and West of London, remuneration is more sensibly in line with living costs, and mid-level administrators like myself routinely earn the salary of a junior professional in any other field. In the East, however, we are all judged to be bog-snorkeling inbreeding failures, and salaries are pegged accordingly. We are, after all, just over the border from Essex, which unfortunately, has a shocking reputation for all the wrong reasons.

My husband and I were having this conversation earlier, and I wondered what there will be left for the youth of tomorrow to have for a career when they get to that age.

  • The NHS as it is today will have ceased to exist, and will probably be privatised and offering jobs only to those who attended the right schools.
  • I already discussed the lack of plumbers and electricians in a previous post.
  • Administrators will be surplus to requirements as everything will be automated or electronic.
  • IT technicians will be out of work as technology will simply be trashed and replaced when it fails, rather than being repaired.
  • Drivers will be obsolete, with the rise of self-driving cars, buses and trains.
  • Postal services will cease to exist as everything will go by courier or electronic means.
  • Hotels will be automated.
  • Retail will be conducted online and delivery by drone or driverless van.

What else can you think of that will have changed? We already have no manufacturing, no mining, no car factories or heavy industry to speak of. Sure, in this area, the University is a key employer, but what will there be to study for in a few years? We've reached the point where even domestic staff in halls of residence are expected to have an NVQ in Cleaning and Support Services, after all.

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AliCanary wrote on February 14, 2015, 2:45 PM

Clearly , people need to be either programmers or marketing consultants.

UK_Writer wrote on February 14, 2015, 2:48 PM

I started out life as a fully qualified shorthand secretary/PA. That all disappeared with Word and the fact bosses could either type their own letters (badly) or get some dim 16 year old to type them (badly). It used to be a career, now it's just "an admin job" it's deemed anybody can do. Then I did IT - that moves faster than you can shake a stick. Stay in a job 6 months and you're already out of the loop and what the market wants this month!

WordChazer wrote on February 14, 2015, 2:59 PM

I'll second that - the pay rates in this area reflect that they do not expect anyone to make a career out of being a top notch administrator or PA any more. They're all starter job wages. IT - Software Engineering degrees are the biggest waste of time ever. Apprenticeship, learn on the job and keep learning on the job.

I manage my own diary quite well - by declining most invitations to attend meetings on my boss' instructions - and concentrating on administrating my audit paperwork, with occasional forays into other areas or other people's meetings as required to take minutes or scope out whether they can be useful for our assessment criteria.

MegL wrote on February 14, 2015, 4:46 PM

I think there will be more self employed people having to do all their own admin, IT, accountancy and heavy work, so they all die young and don't get pensions!

WordChazer wrote on February 14, 2015, 5:10 PM

I think you may be right there. Because everyone who can will have left these shores for real jobs elsewhere. And those who can't leave will all be on benefits or migrant workers earning pennies and living in dormatories...

WordChazer wrote on February 14, 2015, 5:13 PM

Hmmm. Not sure about that. Self employed, definitely, though, doing their own taxes. And probably thereby managing to make a little more that the taxman doesn't know about. (Does that go on in the States? It certainly would here in the UK as many self employed cannot see for why they pay taxes in the first place - they do not benefit from them...)

valmnz wrote on February 14, 2015, 5:41 PM

I think these days employers like staff to have a reasonable level of educatuon, not to execute the job, but to prove they can commit themselves to something.

AliCanary wrote on February 14, 2015, 6:49 PM

I'm not sure how it works, but don't your federal taxes help fund things like NHS? Certainly the self-employed do benefit from that, not to mention public education, roadway maintenance and the military. It always surprises me how many people think they don't benefit from paying taxes, but they'll cry bloody murder if a streetlight goes out or the police don't come when called (I'm counting property taxes in with income taxes, for the local tings).

MelissaE wrote on February 14, 2015, 9:05 PM

Teachers will one day be obsolete as we put kids in front of computers to watch tutorials and take tests. Schools will only need baby-sitters to watch the kids at their computers.

WordChazer wrote on February 15, 2015, 5:35 AM

The trouble is that no one DOES have a decent level of education any more, because the politicians keep ticking around with the requirements. And as for commitment, the only thing that some people show a level of commitment to are trashy TV shows and brainless clotheshorse 'slebs' who would turn up to the opening of a door if it meant they would be photographed for it. Even the X-Factor and Talent 'winners' are nobodies again in a year when they are dropped by the mogul's label in favor of the next big flavor of the month.

WordChazer wrote on February 15, 2015, 5:38 AM

That's happening already. Youngsters today are much more visual than I am. They'll spend hours watching DVDs or films or music videos. You can find out how to do everything on YouTube. And MOOCs are the way top notch universities will go - Massive Open Online Courses, where the best lecturers stream their classes for the benefit of whoever can stump up a subscription fee for their channel.

cheri wrote on February 16, 2015, 12:54 AM

There is really a problem in employment anywhere in the world.

Ruby3881 wrote on February 16, 2015, 6:51 PM

I believe the best advice given to any young person in the last few decades was to prepare for the possibility of having to change careers at least once or twice, if not more. Job security is a thing of the past, and the traditional career paths don't generally lead where one would expect.

WordChazer wrote on February 17, 2015, 3:01 PM

Federal taxes DO help the NHS as far as I know, but the problem is that the NHS is also used as a convenient stopping off place by people whose ailments are self-inflicted and the hypochondriacs who think ER can cure a cold. We also treat many obese people as well as smokers and alcoholics who ought to have bee given additional help (if I was available!) before pitching up at ER. Railways are privatised, as are bus companies. State education is a political football. Road maintenance is partly paid for by council tax to the local authority and the military are being cut in numbers quicker than I personally would like, given that I grew up in a squaddie town that was targeted by the IRA... (we have had terrorism for 40+ years here in the UK).

WordChazer wrote on February 17, 2015, 3:05 PM

I think you're right there. I doubt the workers in Foxconn in the East are any more happy with their lot making technological geegaws for the West than I am at times in my role pushing paper for people who prefer to deal with other people rather than more paper.

WordChazer wrote on February 17, 2015, 3:11 PM

That's so true. The best thing a former employer did for me was to send me on a course to learn audit administration. They could see that auditing the way others did their job was a growing sector and that admins would need to grow by specialising. My current admin colleagues are mainly medical specialists - working in close formation with consultants who treat as many patients as need treating. All day. Every day. In the meantime others have become ( MaeLou ) child care specialists or ( DWDavisRSL ) teaching specialists. At home, of course, I am also a writer and eBayer, which just helps keep me grounded and happy. I write out my frustrations and sell my clutter to fund my eventual retirement.

j2jworkz wrote on February 20, 2015, 10:07 AM

I'd agree and add that a diverse skill set is key, many still quote the average career is 7 in a lifetime, and that is becoming more and more true.

SuperCyclone wrote on February 20, 2015, 6:37 PM

The youth of today have a lot of hurdles to jump when it comes to careers, but they also have many more tools and a whole different form of education in which to jump them. Good luck in your venture.

Kungfu123 wrote on February 22, 2015, 8:40 AM

Maybe some other kinds of new sectors or occupations will emerge and need more employeers.

maxeen wrote on February 22, 2015, 1:09 PM

Yes! I can think of something that is quite new ,new to the youngsters that is . it is a tiny thing and it is called clause 4 !

WordChazer wrote on February 22, 2015, 4:07 PM

Oh aye? Do explain? I've heard of many Clauses, but Clause 4 is not one.

maxeen wrote on February 22, 2015, 5:06 PM

The labour leader who dropped Clause 1V was Tony Blair -Bliar- Before he tinkered, and removed, the Clause1V, we had many nationalised institutions, which for us, in the UK is the best way forward for the Labour Party.
If one supports another party, well that is up to them, what they do, or try to change. Until the Clause is reimplemented, we will waver, and disintigrate, with even more losses to the workers. and as you say, a goodbye to the NHS, if they get their way ! The carreer Politicians....

WordChazer wrote on February 22, 2015, 5:52 PM

The career politicians who never use the NHS unless they happen to wipe out on a stretch of motorway near a trauma centre of excellence or Foundation Trust. Then the paramedics from that fine institution will be expected to scrape the said politico off the road, the medics and nurses will be expected to patch them up and return them to full health. There had better be a solid donation to the Trust at the end of it, for if they had undergone all that treatment in a private institution they would have paid for every second of it.

I don't support Labour, but then I don't feel that any political party in this land speaks for me.

maxeen wrote on February 22, 2015, 6:08 PM

The point is that Labour is not Labour at this moment, so somebody just help us all,these Tories, and like will never give a dam about the ordinary folk.
I agree with you ,No party represents me ,not any who are mainstream...