No more jobs for life

Lifetime employment with one company is a thing of the past and Greek managers have, in fact, become especially mobile, according to Venetia Kousia, the managing director of the Greek operations of employment services firm Manpower Inc. Kousia told Kathimerini that the outlook of Greek managers has been undergoing a change recently. They have become more demanding, looking for employers that combine a good work environment with the best possible combination of salary for their abilities and skills. «The recognition, on the part of the managers, of the value of continuous moves in search of more productive employment is now a fact in Greece,» she told Kathimerini. «This is a trend that will become more pronounced in the future, as the corporations themselves look for the most qualified managers to fill a position.» she adds. According to Kousia, at the same time that we have a reduction in the number of specific jobs, the development of each company’s operations systems, along with technological progress, creates the need to search for multiskilled managers who can face multiple challenges and who may be called on to fill more than one position. «Jobs are becoming more complex. This, combined with a dearth of talented managers, may lead the market into a dead end,» Kousia remarks. According to her, there is an increased demand for salespeople and chief accountants and an increasing lack of supply, since Greeks do not consider pursuing a career in these positions worthwhile. In contrast to what happens abroad, where salespeople make impressive careers and earn substantial salaries, young prospective managers in Greece consider a salesperson’s job at best a temporary assignment, related to that of a traditional door-to-door salesman. Also few turn to studying accounting. «Accounting, however, is becoming increasingly important for enterprises, especially since the introduction of new accounting standards,» says Kousia, noting that companies are looking even more actively to hire people who can convince others of the reliability of the products or services they promote. Despite these concerns, the market is optimistic about hiring prospects, Kousia says, given that the economy is growing strongly. This optimism about employment is shared by the quarterly Manpower Employment Outlook Survey conducted by Manpower Inc in 27 countries. The latest edition, about hiring trends in the second quarter of 2007, was based on interviews with more than 50,000 private and public sector employers. On an annual basis, there are better hiring prospects in 14 of the 27 countries studied, especially in Singapore, Peru, Argentina, South Africa, India, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. Among European countries (Greece is not included), German and Italian employers are the most upbeat while, across the Atlantic, employers in the United States were decidedly more guarded, with 60 percent saying they did not expect any changes in the number of their employees.

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