Your job is at stake because one of two reasons;
A) You are managed by someone lacking a pragmatic attitude towards the required adjustments in the organization to stay competitive in the age of digitization, automation and learning machines. The damage caused by the unemployment footprint produced by such managers can be compared to the carbon footprint produced by airline companies.
B) You are a manager not lacking such pragmatic attitude but the future is uncertain as no one knows how Artificial Intelligence is going to unfold. The best you can offer to society, to your team and to you is to keep sharp and adjust the organization model to reach targets; growth enwrapped with positive corporate social responsibility.
The good news is Millennials and Centennials are not worried about their jobs being at stake. Why? Because they don’t believe in the traditional job definition.
While Boomers are panicking with the possibility of losing a regular income to support fix costs (house mortgage, children’s education and wellbeing, basic needs like food, utilities etc), new generations are chill, cool, relaxed, as they do not seek a job but income fluxes that allow them to keep the freedom to choose which tasks not to deliver for cash or some sort of bitcoin.
Boomers enabled Millenials to grow in a safe environment and new generations are confident to keep their work options open and if something it’s fun and pays the rent, why not give it a try? Specially because the new digital skills acquired – also for fun while posting in social media or programing a basic website – are now pretty handy in the new digital labour market.
- Digital Marketing Specialist, Social Media Manager, Chief Listening Officer, Blogger, SEO Specialist, App Designer, App Developer, Cloud Services Specialist, Big Data Analyst, Market Research Data Miner.
These are jobs created in the last decade, when a guy now reaching adult age was cruising elementary school. By the time elementary school’s students (my kids age) are college age we have entered a world that is robotic, largely unemployed and… awesome.
Remember when smartphones were not part of work? Millennials don’t. So why should they worry about an old fashion topic like having a job?
Jobs are now work periods. Holiday is the time experienced between work periods. Nothing new for someone working as a freelancer. The main difference is now freelancers – with digital skills – rule the labour market while previously they were ruled by companies. To know if you are part of this population you need to answer the question, “Is my digital literacy above average?”. Are you a creative person with the ability to convert information produced into digital? Congrats, you are a scarce talent and brands will pay a lot for having you around.
- Farmers, agricultural workers, postal service mail sorters, carriers, clerks, sewing machine operators, switchboard operators, fast food cooks, data entry keyers, word processors, typists, door to door sales workers, food service managers, electrical and electronic equipment assemblers, file clerks, prepress technicians, refinery workers, loan Interviewers.
In the jobs above humans are being replaced by machines, which might be good news because all are boring and underpaid work.What happens to the persons losing such jobs? They shift their mindset, learn new competencies required by industries and adjust their fix costs with income fluxes generated by successive work periods. Is this change lead by governments or industries? Neither. It is led by individuals.
What about pensioners, handicapped, sick leavers and maternity leavers? They must be protected by tax payers. Right and left-wing political parties must be educated by democratic voters to meet (in the middle?) and agree on managing properly (without populism) the hardest transition in the labour market since 1870.
According to Professor David Lee, we have recovered from two mass extinction of jobs before: from 1870 to 970 jobs related to farms dropped 90% and from 1950 to 2010 factories’ jobs dropped 75%. Now time is the issue because we had 100 years to move from farms to factories, 60 years to build a service economy, but only 10 years ahead to adjust because according to Forrester, “Automation will displace 24.7 million jobs by 2027 in US” and according to the European Commission “Currently in EU there are 2 Million vacant jobs due to skills shortage”.
Is a no-brainer that work is changing and boomers, millennials, centennials must adapt or die. This has been the journey of humanity and will continue to be even when our Sun explodes, after drones have transported humachines (humans improved with robots) through space wormholes to a brand-new planet with a brand-new Sun.
Like millions of human species that were not able to adapt and are now extinct, also humans who are not able to change their mind set and continually learn new competences required by industries, will also disappear.
If I had to bet who are these humans facing extinction, I would say the ones milking the benefits of social states from developed countries, not challenged to thrive, not motivated to work hard, not adapting to change, consuming without producing, protected by public servants focused to meet emerging radical voters’ expectations. Startup entrepreneurs strangled by hedge funds and trapped by fake messiahs lecturing from tech summits sponsored by public funds, will also face a meteorite similar to the one that might have vaporized dinosaurs.
Democracy, civil rights, public health systems, long life education programs, globalization, automation, digitalization, learning machines, virtual work stations, meritocracy, are great human achievements to treasure. By accepting it I trust one is adapting and avoiding extinction.
So, your job is at stake and you are celebrating it. Well done.
What will you be doing in your next work period? Something fun certainly.
Ricardo Oliveira Nobre.