Thursday, 28 January 2016

New Asia

This post is unfinished as of 30/1/16

I am in the middle of some of the best months of my life. These days I know I will look back with fond nostalgia. Waking up everyday with a smile and fervour to learn new things about my home country and its relationship (both diplomatic and economic) in the country you've set foot in. Interacting every day with genuinely friendly faces at security, friendly faces at work and friendly faces at lunch to open up your mind and to do so to others on different social and business settings.

 I am in Guangzhou, China right now and I am having the time of my life.

 For many in my generation, our career prospects are not always the brightest. We have three main things weighing down our hopes and dreams.

 1. Automation

This will undoubtedly be one of the issues that will affect the next generation the most, automation is set to replace a whole suite of entry level and mid-tier jobs in our future. Industries such as basic hospitality, fast food, accounting and even basic legal services have been flagged for complete and utter destruction in the years to come. With entry level jobs being the first of the many rungs on the ladder of career progression, this important first step may increasingly be more and more difficult to climb for young people across the world.

 2. Financial Crisis

Contrary to what you hear so frequently from the corporate media, global tremors in financial markets have actually been quite a recent thing. Based on my limited knowledge of economic history, the only truly global financial crisies have been the Great Depression (caused by a gross over-valuation of various American stocks) and the Asian Financial crisis (caused by bubbles resulting from the rapid, unsustainable growth experienced by East Asian countries such as post-war Japan and South Korea. 

 But the GFC was acutely felt by us. Millions of dollars wiped from the share-market, pensions, retirement hodings, property value and most importantly: jobs, were wiped out in a few short months. My dad was not immune, and he was subsequently let go from Leighton, one of Australia's premier civil engineering companies. 

 The bad news is that there almost inevitably will be another crisis. The writing is on the wall, as a global community we failed to address the systemic causes of the banking crash and the greedy, corrupt practices that toppled the first dominoes certainly exist today. 
 3. International Competition

Looking around Guangzhou, there are million of people in this city (15 to be precise). Many of them young, hungry, and most importantly: increasingly able to speak English. The one advantage that we in the West have in being able to freely communicate in what is essentially the world standard of languages has so far been quite effective in keeping our economies and industries stable. But one day, China and India will be set to be the worlds first and second most populated English speaking countries in the world. We can start to see the beginnings of this process already. Jobs in the manufacturing and technology sector have increasingly been shipped offshore in favour of cheaper, more skilled and enthusiastic workers abroad. Again, this won't affect our generation nearly as much but remains as a concern 

 It is with all of these considerations raised that I recognise that I am truly lucky to have found what I feel is my actual passion and path to achieve it so early on. 

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