I’ve had two main careers.
The first was in the creative field working as a mural painter, 3D artist and motion graphics designer. The second was in the IT field working as a developer.
Both careers effectively came to an end, because I could see that technology could do my job better, or because the work wasn’t worth the effort anymore.
The lessons I took from the experience, is to look out for new possibilities for the future.
Hence I always keep an eye on how the nature of work changes.
Recently I’ve been very very surprised to see what types of jobs will be available in the future.
And those jobs are going to require Humanity.
Technology does most things Better
Artificial intelligence, robots and software simply do our jobs better than us. I’ve experienced this first hand.
At first technology automated the agriculture, then it automated manufacturing and now it’s automating white collar work. It’s the inevitable unstoppable progress of technology.
It happens – and it changes the way we live our lives and the way we work.
Clearly, with technology doing work better than us, it means that job opportunities will collapse in the future. After all, why pay a person to do a job when a robot can do it much better, faster and cheaper.
However, there are some jobs that robots will not be able to do, purely because we want or need a person to do it.
We need the humanity inherent to a person for those types of jobs.
An article I read a long time ago listed some of these people-centred jobs.
Jobs of the the Future
Jobs of the future seem to fall into two major categories based on the reading I’ve done.
The first is all about technology. These are jobs like 3D Printer design specialists, virtual reality experience designers, smart home handy people, neuro implant technicians and remote health care specialists. That last one is quite interesting because the pandemic has already accelerated adoption of this type of work.
The second is all about people. Here are some examples:
Our lifespans have been getting longer and longer. It is now possible for us to live to 120. That’s awesome! However we’re not getting more youth – we’re getting more old age.
The elderly won’t be in a position to manage their affairs optimally.
That’s where end-of-life planners come in. They will be able to manage peoples affairs – very much like an assistant for old people.
Given that lifestyles and technology change so fast, and older people can’t keep up, it makes sense that younger folks will be assisting older folks with processes and systems they don’t understand.
Senior Care Givers
This one is related to the previous one, except that the job will require physically taking are of elderly people.
Many countries around the world have aging populations and unless they get their immigration policies right, they will have massive amounts of elderly folks on their hands.
Hence the world is going to need younger folks to take care of all these aging boomers, which will drive job growth in that area.
Being able to treat older people with respect and kindness will be a sought after skill because clearly robots will lack this. As an older person you would rather have a person look after you.
I was surprised to see this one crop up, but it makes sense.
As amazing as robots are, it’s highly unlikely that they will be able to provide a physicality and intimacy that an actual person can provide.
Given that people will not be able to find work, society will need to get over it’s hangups with sex and provide sensible rules, taxation, labor protections and regulations around this.
Let’s hope this is the case, because if robots progress to handling sex better than us, then we’re really screwed.
Because of the lack of future jobs opportunities, people will need to become self sufficient. One such way will be to grow enough food for your family and community.
By default this will make all of us urban farmers. Being a Vegan myself and having my own farm, I can attest the invaluable nature of getting your food for free from a farm.
It seems very sensible that we will all need to become urban farmers.
Jobs will be about on People
Our society has trained us to chase stuff, but when the robots take all of our work, then the only work we have left will have to be about taking care of people.
And that could be a good thing for all of us.
Many of us wrap our egos around our jobs, our titles, our wealth and our stuff. But the robots, AI and software will make something very clear very soon – that they can do practically everything better than us.
This isn’t something to be feared. In fact I see it as an opportunity to realign our values, and changes our world views for the better.
David Graeber once said “Shit jobs tend to be blue collar and pay by the hour, whereas bullshit jobs tend to be white collar and salaried.”
I tend to agree with him.
The work we have today is not really worth having, and it leads us down a path of excess and unfulfillment.
Perhaps the robots will be doing us a service by taking these meaningless jobs away from us.
Who knows, perhaps being farmer, or sex worker or care giver will give us back something we lost in our gilded age – perhaps by taking care of humans, it will give us back our humanity.