The two-year itch

Two years is a long time.  And the news this morning tells us that staff shortages in various industries in the UK could last for two years at least.

According to the CBI, shortages are most prevalent among HGV drivers, welders, butchers, bricklayers, fruit and flower pickers, food and meat processing operatives, livestock and arable workers, factory assembly workers, scaffolders, carpenters, chefs, cleaners and housekeepers.

According to me, staff shortages are most common in permanent software developers with 1-5 years’ experience, but I admit that my world view is very narrow.

So how much can change in two years?  Consider the following:

  • Two years is how long it takes for the earth to do two full rotations of the sun and travel 1.171 billion miles.
  • The gestation period of the spiny dogfish shark is two years long – and it gives birth at the end to between 2 and 11 live pups.
  • It’s now been two years since I promised to paint that bit in the spare room where there was a leak from the roof – I have the paint and everything.

So a lot can be achieved in 24 months – or virtually nothing can happen, depending on your approach.

My advice

Think about where you want to be in two years’ time.  Here’s my advice:

  • To companies – hire on potential and attitude as well as (or even instead of) technical skills.  In two years’ time you might just find yourself with a more engaged, diverse, and successful workforce.
  • To jobseekers – adapt to the marketplace and retrain into areas where there are staff shortages.  In two years’ time you might be earning good money in a completely new industry / role.
  • To myself – paint the spare room.