In today’s episode I would like to break down what it really means to have a future-focused job, and why we emphasize them at WehnerEd. Many people don’t realize that their jobs or career paths are not sustainable and their roles could cease to exist in the coming future. I would like to share more about the digital trends that are shaping our planet, and what it means for you.
I had brunch with a friend of mine recently and we were discussing how to best support those that seek a career change. Yes, even on coffee dates, I can't help pushing my agenda. The hustle is real. 🙂
My friend shared a story with me about a coal miner who was recently laid off when their facility was shut down. Coal demand is declining in the US, and many hope it will disappear altogether in our lifetime, so it’s not surprising that coal mines continue to close. When asked what he would like to do for his next job he replied, “I have been working in the mine all my life and am looking to earn more money and work fewer hours. As an expert in mining, I am qualified for a role in our company's management leading the new generation.”
He's missing the point.
Coal mining (and mining management for that matter) is a career of the past. Why would he (or anyone else) pursue a new job that has a ticking clock before it disappears altogether? You would have similar career success as a telephone switchboard operator, milkman, or any other obsolete jobs. Likewise, jobs such as taxi drivers, travel agents, warehouse stockers and packers, retail workers, cashiers and others will disappear in the coming decade.
A YouTube video from Kurzgesagt (one of my favorite channels on YouTube) talks about how technology could replace up to HALF of today's jobs in the coming two decades and answers the question “even though automation has been around for a while… What’s different this time that will cause such drastic change in the workplace?” I highly recommend you watch this video, as nearly 4 million others have done, to hear the full story. In a nutshell, a huge number of jobs are being replaced by technology in the coming years because intelligent machines are learning to do more jobs than ever before.
- Blockbuster was replaced by Redbox and Netflix …(back when discs arrived in the mail)
- Amazon has replaced many retail industries, is one of the largest distributers of music and books, and is expanding further into the territory of grocery stores. Their highly complex supply chain continues to utilize efficient robots to organize products in massive warehouses and pack boxes for shipment. Their delivery drones will soon to lessen the need for UPS and FedEx drivers. They alone are impacting more than a dozen industries.
It’s already been nearly 7 years since IBM’s Watson computer beat the most successful brainiacs on Jeopardy. Even back then, computers were defeating our best and brightest in dozens of intellectual categories. How much longer until they learn your skills?
It’s no longer a matter of “if” but instead is a matter of “when.” This isn’t the first time that dramatic changes have occurred in our society. The industrial revolution caused similar large-scale changes as the population shifted from jobs in agriculture to jobs in factories. More recently, automation in factories pushed many into service-type roles, but now those jobs are dwindling as well.
The jobs that will thrive in the foreseeable future are the ones that support these new machines.
Factory robots and computer servers will need to be maintained. Data scientists and analysts will continue to optimize computer systems that companies increasingly depend on.
We view all of these changes in the workplace as wonderful opportunities for our future.
As Time magazine reported…Thought leader, Malcolm Frank… believes that automation will make us more creative in the long run. He predicts that “We’re going to allow machines to do what machines do with excellence, and humans can do what humans do best.” He gives the example of teachers and students who could benefit from a robot that reviews homework, helping to identify each student’s individual needs. “The rote work has been removed [by computers],” he says, “freeing up humans to do higher impact, more creative work.”
Make sure you aren't falling into the same trap as the miner from our earlier narrative!
One of the things I emphasize in WehnerEd coaching calls is that we only guide our community to pursue jobs that will continue to be relevant in the decades to come. Our most popular episode of the Career Hacking Podcast shares more about these jobs and how ANYONE can earn these roles. That includes you, and Mr. Coalminer. Don’t get caught unprepared when your job is no longer needed, and don’t rely on the skills you have today to help you survive in the winds of change.
Just as new skills were required to prepare the workforce for a new industrial economy, so too must our society today adapt and learn new trades for the jobs that are most in demand today and in the coming future. The good news is that the roles that will continue to thrive aren’t as difficult to obtain as you might think. Learning new skills is now easier and more affordable than ever with the advent of online education. Gone are the days where you need to pay a college tuition that also supports overly beautified campuses and football scholarships. Now you can learn faster and from the comfort of your own home without all the other overhead costs that are included in a brick-and-mortar institution.
The key to success in anything is accountability. Many learners and entrepreneurs are unsuccessful because they aren’t able to hold themselves accountable each and every day. In both cases, it takes a ton of willpower to achieve in unproven business endeavors without the support of your network. Determine the best learning outlet for your needs, and leverage your friends and loved ones to help you make it happen.
WehnerEd provides many services to help you achieve your career goals no matter where you are in the process. We offer many free and affordable options on our website in addition to our personalized 1-on-1 career coaching.
Visit our Facebook page and join with the many others that are creating their better tomorrows TODAY!