Posted by: crudbasher | April 9, 2012

Good News and Bad News About The Future Of Work

This article talks about how in the near future, the traditional career will have pretty much gone away. I would say that future is already here and getting more widespread. So far in my career I have done three major types of jobs (so far). I am always learning new things and trying to broaden my skill set. I think this article is right on target.

What the writers don’t talk about is the effect on education. Our education system was built to provide workers for an economy that was fairly static in nature. You only needed to produce enough entry level people each year to replace the ones who retired each year. Most people could work their whole lives with what they learned in the school system. This worked for about 100 years. Then, starting in about 2000, things began to change because of the Internet.

When I look to the future I see good news and bad news about the labor market.

Good news

The good news is that we will be working less hours and more of us will get more satisfaction from what we do. The chances of getting a job we like are going to be greater than they were for our parents.

Bad news

The bad news is that the future will belong to the ones who are creative and agile thinkers. People who think outside the box will be in great demand. Incidentally, the school system is designed to create people who are the exact opposite of this.

“Houston, we have a problem.” Jim Lovell, Apollo 13

Don’t worry though, if there is a demand for different kinds of learning, somebody else will step in to provide it.

click more for annotations 

  • This has profound implications for the education system

    tags: education jobs employers profound nell

    • Futurists have long been following the impacts of automation on jobs—not just in manufacturing, but also increasingly in white-collar work. Those in financial services, for example, are being lost to software algorithms, and intelligent computers.*

      Terms used for this phenomenon include “off-peopling” and “othersourcing.” As Jared Weiner of Weiner, Edrich, Brown recently observed, “Those jobs are not going to return—they can be done more efficiently and error-free by intelligent software.”

    • In an ideal world, jobs would be plentiful, competitive, and pay well. Most job opportunities have two of these qualities but not all three. Medicine, law, and finance are jobs that are both competitive and pay well. Retail, hospitality, and personal services are competitive but pay low wages. Unions often ensure that jobs pay well and are plentiful, only to later find that those jobs and related industries are no longer competitive.
    • This is all a part of the transition toward a postindustrial economy.
    • The question is, what is the future of work, and what can we do about it?
    • Work will always be about finding what other people want and need, and then creating practical solutions to fulfill those desires. Our basic assumptions about how work gets done are what’s changing. It’s less about having a fixed location and schedule and more about thoughtful and engaged activity. Increasingly, this inspiration can happen anytime, anyplace.
    • The new trends for the workplace have significantly less built-in certainty. We will all need to rethink, redefine, and broaden our sources of economic security. To the extent that people are developing a broader range of skills, we will also become more resilient and capable of adapting to change.
    • The new norm is for people to maintain and develop skill sets in multiple simultaneous careers. In this environment, the ability to learn is something of a survival skill. Education never stops, and the line between working and learning becomes increasingly blurred.
    • Fixed hours, fixed location, and fixed jobs are quickly becoming a thing of the past for many industries, as opportunities become more fluid and transient. The 40-hour workweek is becoming less relevant as we see more subcontractors, temps, freelancers, and self-employed.
    • Imagine an office where meetings are optional. Nobody talks about how many hours they worked last week. People have an unlimited amount of vacation and paid time off. Work is done anytime and anywhere, based entirely on individual needs and preferences. Finally, employees at all levels are encouraged to stop doing anything that is a waste of their time, their customers’ time, or the company’s time.

      There is a catch: Quality work needs to be completed on schedule and within budget.

      Sound like a radical utopia? These are all basic principles of the Results Only Work Environment (ROWE), as pioneered by Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson while they were human resource managers for Best Buy.

    • “The funny thing is that once employees experience a ROWE they don’t want to work any other way,” they write. “So employees give back. They get smarter about their work because they want to make sure they get results. They know that if they can deliver results then in exchange they will get trust and control over their time.”
    • There are now more alternatives to either working at home alone or being part of a much larger office. Co-working spaces are shared work facilities where people can get together in an officelike environment while telecommuting or starting up new businesses.

      “We provide space and opportunity for people that don’t have it,” Wes Garnett, founder of The coIN Loft, a co-working space in Wilmington, Delaware, told me.

    • “For $200 [a month], you can have access to presentation facilities, a conference room, and a dedicated place to work.” And coIN Loft offers day rates for people with less-frequent space needs.
    • A changing economy is causing people to rethink their priorities. In a recent survey by Ogilvy and Mather, 76% of respondents reported that they would rather spend more time with their families than make more money.
    • A shift back toward one-income households can happen when the costs of taxes, commuting, and child care consume a large portion of earnings. People who opt out are not considered unemployed, as they are no longer actively looking for paid work. Their focus often reflects a shift in values toward other activities, such as raising kids, volunteer work, or living simply.
    • Justin Caggiano is a laid-back rock-climbing guide whom my wife and I met during our last vacation in the red canyons of Moab, Utah. He’s also been guiding rafters, climbers, and hikers for the past six years.
    • Since graduating from college six years ago, he has also worked as an artisanal baker, a carpenter, and a house painter. This makes him something of a down-to-earth renaissance man.

      His advice is “to be as flexible as you can—and work your tail off.”

    • Our concept of work is getting reworked. A career used to be a ladder of opportunities within a single company. For the postwar generation, the concept of “lifetime employment” was a realistic expectation.
    • The baby boomers had a somewhat different career trajectory. They still managed to have a single career, but it more closely resembled a lattice than a ladder. After working for an employer for five to 10 years, they might find a better opportunity elsewhere and continue their climb.
    • The career path for younger generations more closely resembles a patchwork quilt, as people attempt to stitch together multiple jobs into something that is flexible and works for them.
    • The future of work is less secure and less stable than it was. For many of us, our notions of employment were formed by the labor environment of the later twentieth century. But the reality of jobless working may be more in line with our values.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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