The best way to appreciate your job is to imagine yourself without one. – Oscar Wilde
Globalisation, off-shoring, outsourcing, right-sizing, machines replacing me. Sorry, Mr Wilde, thinking about this doesn’t make me love my job, but more fearful. Fear makes people do weird stuff.
What if my boss starts listing my job on eBay and get workers to bid salaries online, like a reverse auction and have jobs going to the lowest bidders.
A excellent book that deserves a place on the shelf is “50 ideas you really need to know about the future” by Richard Watson. He is a scenario planner and has a blog on top future trends. http://www.futuretrendsbook.com/author/
I’ve digested the 50 ideas into 20 career areas with potential. Jobs are disappearing and new ones being created. Read his book to see the ones that don’t yet exist (e.g. robot relationship counsellor?).
For those of us who want work-life harmony, we will see more part-time, flexible working, and tele-commuting. More job specialisation – yes I see that coming from my clients in headhunting. Watson predicts that work that cannot be outsourced to highly intelligent machines or outsourced to highly intelligent people in lower-cost countries – I call them localised jobs that need the emotional, personal touch: nursing care, teachers, architects, writers, poets, painters, musicians, philosophers and plumbers, together with certain scientists, designers, engineers, lawyers (funny he should say that, the Law Ministry just said we’ve over-supply of lawyers), stress counsellors, masseurs, religious ministers, policy makers, strategists, innovators and entrepreneurs.
Many of these jobs are context-specific. Although we have a glut of lawyers, we are lacking in those practicing family law, criminal law for instance, according to the Ministry of Law. And young people, if you choose the area of study because of the trend reports, read the fine-print carefully.
Commencement addresses are another excellent way of seeking advice from the successful.
Mr Khenghuai recently sent me the following link of Vivek Wadhwa’ commencement address the Hult International Business School on 22 Aug 2014. URL Source: http://bit.ly/1zufhrO
The present stage of man’s history is unique, as entrepreneurs can do what only governments and big corporations could do before.
Computers, and the information technology that they enable, are going into other fields – artificial intelligence, robotics, medicine, 3D printing, etc. This has allowed the creation of new industries and the replacement of the old. This can come in the form of 3D printing household goods, entire buildings, electronic circuits, and even food; delivering of goods by drones; developing new organisms to improve agriculture and clean up the environment.
With the good, there is also the bad that these technologies bring – large-scale destruction, spying, and many unimaginable horrors. Technologies which are available in Silicon Valley, and the same knowledge and ideas, are available everywhere – entrepreneurs, governments and criminals, are also developing them.
The jobs and careers that exist now may not exist a decade later.
The most important skills of the future?
“Ability to learn and adapt”, “to collaborate with others and build relationships… share ideas, inspire and motivate.”
What Dr Wadhwa said, reminds me of an account of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s commencement address at Havard, where she shared an advice then Google CEO Eric Schmidt gave her when she was considering joining Google. Get on a rocket ship. When companies are growing quickly and they are having a lot of impact, careers take care of themselves. And when companies aren’t growing quickly or their missions don’t matter as much, that’s when stagnation and politics come in. If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat. Just get on.
Do you want a seat on the rocket?
The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. ”
― Alvin Toffler