Release Date:
Release ID: 1909

Career Wise

Career-Wise Australia provides a career counselling and assessment service Australia wide. It also offers a Complete Career Change Kit which is available for immediate download via

Oil and Other Global Changes Threaten Careers

Career consultant issues warning. As the price of oil soars, workers and job seekers are about to be hit by a giant wave of change few even see coming. Even less are prepared. The impact on careers and livelihoods will be severe however most career guidance and labour market experts ignore the danger signs.

Brisbane, Australia. 11 January 2008 -- A growing chorus of oil experts are predicting that the price of oil will rise dramatically even further than the $100 a barrel mark over the next few years. The fastest growing bet in the US oil market at the moment is that the price of crude oil will be over $200 by the end of 2008. Options on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose a record-breaking ten-fold in the last two months to over 5500 contracts covering $200 oil.

One hundred dollars a barrel is actually… remarkably cheap,'' said Matthew R. Simmons, chairman of Simmons & Co. International, a Houston-based investment bank that focuses on energy. Despite temporary price falls he sees further large rises as inevitable this decade. Simmons is just one of many oil industry watchers who believe we may have hit “peak oil” – the permanent upper limit to daily global oil production - due to a range of geological, technical, political and economic factors. As global demand outstrips supply large price rises are required to destroy demand.

The implications for our economy and employment prospects are huge but virtually ignored by career guidance experts. Career advisors, career coaches and career counsellors all appear to be following the assumption that the economy and society will continue more or less as it has been for the last 50 years.

This assumption ignores that in addition to the peak oil threat, a number of other global factors are approaching crucial tipping points that will make current high consumption lifestyles impossible for many people hence reducing employment opportunities based on that consumption. These global threats include climate change, other resource limitations such as water and uranium, and the U.S. financial situation.

For young people considering their career future and older people with the opportunity to change careers the focus should be on work that will be really useful in this new future. Just taking some standard career placement test will not be enough.

Career strategies that flow from the peak oil threat include avoiding careers in industries highly dependent on cheap oil such as hospitality and tourism and having back-up options such as an auto electrician who learns to work with electric cars.

Most career strategies will revolve around meeting local needs in an economy which can no longer afford to transport food, materials, products, and people as much as in the past.

One of the fastest growing employment sectors will be small scale agriculture as oil price rises impact large farms requiring huge oil and natural gas inputs to cultivate, fertilise and transport the produce. With rising food prices it will become more viable for people to grow and sell food locally using more labour intensive organic farming practices. There will also be more jobs in salvaging and repairing things rather than relying on mass production far off in China.

About Career-Wise Australia:

Career-Wise Australia provides a career counselling and assessment service Australia wide. It also offers a Complete Career Change Kit which is available for immediate download via


Mitch Lawrie M.Ed (Career Guidance) AACC

Director of Career Services

Career-Wise Australia (A Division of Premium Horizons Pty Ltd)

0422 582 356


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