Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience

According to this article, temporary job assignments become more and more popular in the corporate world. With temps or contractors, companies can react flexibly to market demand or economic trends and employ a just-in-time workforce. What could be a strategy for constant job seekers to remain attractive on the job market?

I believe T-shaped people have an answer to the challenges on the job market. As a specialist, one can successfully compete against other applicants in his or her field of expertise. But to be an expert in something is not sufficient anymore. In a time where people have to find jobs constantly, they need to be able to market themselves, to adopt to changing environments, to work with different teams or to work in new industries. In other words, a broader and general skill set is required.

But is the T-shape approach also applicable for the low-skilled labor market? Less qualified workers are easily replaceable as their expertise is not specialized enough. Therefore the T-shape approach might not apply for less qualified workers and the importance of differentiation through specialization becomes even more apparent.

T-shaped people have both, a horizontal general as well as a vertical specialized skill set. Nobody needs to be a scientist to understand this concept and there is nothing particularly new about it. Yet it is a term that expresses perfectly what the job market asks for nowadays. In a fast paced world of complexity and change, companies are looking for on-demand professionals who are able to connect their core expertise to the individual company environment and culture.

Guest Editor (AH)

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