Soon we will work for the technologies that take our work away

Wednesday, 15 February, 2012

Up to two billion jobs that we are familiar with now stand to vanish in the next twenty years, give or take. Of course the technologies bringing about the demise of these jobs will also give rise to new forms of work.

When I brought up the idea of 2 billion jobs disappearing (roughly 50% of all the jobs on the planet) it wasn’t intended as a doom and gloom outlook. Rather, it was intended as a wakeup call, letting the world know how quickly things are about to change, and letting academia know that much of the battle ahead will be taking place at their doorstep.

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The digital work revolution… your computer is now your factory

Thursday, 6 October, 2011

Seth Godin’s post The forever recession (and the coming revolution) is a great companion piece to Douglas Rushkoff’s article last month of the impact of web and digital technologies on jobs as we currently perceive them, and the imminent changes, which will be comparable to those seen during the Industrial Revolution, to workplaces and the way we work.

Job creation is a false idol. The future is about gigs and assets and art and an ever-shifting series of partnerships and projects. It will change the fabric of our society along the way. No one is demanding that we like the change, but the sooner we see it and set out to become an irreplaceable linchpin, the faster the pain will fade, as we get down to the work that needs to be (and now can be) done.

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Your job may not be fun but it likely isn’t one of the most hated

Monday, 26 September, 2011

Just what I need to see after a week’s break… a list of the ten most hated jobs as ranked by career community CareerBliss… have to say a few of the inclusions puzzled me though.

  • Marketing Manager
  • CNC Machinist
  • Technical Support Analyst
  • Law Clerk
  • Electronics Technician
  • Technical Specialist
  • Senior Web Developer
  • Product Manager
  • Director of Sales and Marketing
  • Director of Information Technology

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Is it time to re-think the concept of jobs and working?

Thursday, 15 September, 2011

Jobs would appear to be on the endangered species list. New technologies are gradually supplanting the need for people to carry out many tasks that previously constituted employment, which begs the question, what happens when technology can do just about everything? Perhaps it is time to start changing the way we perceive employment.

While this is certainly bad for workers and unions, I have to wonder just how truly bad is it for people. Isn’t this what all this technology was for in the first place? The question we have to begin to ask ourselves is not how do we employ all the people who are rendered obsolete by technology, but how can we organize a society around something other than employment? Might the spirit of enterprise we currently associate with “career” be shifted to something entirely more collaborative, purposeful, and even meaningful?

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The endangered jobs list grows, are you a creator or a server?

Tuesday, 22 February, 2011

Looking at the jobs of the future based on the assumption that there are just sorts of workers, those who are creators, and those who are servers:

Forget blue-collar and white- collar. There are two types of workers in our economy: creators and servers. Creators are the ones driving productivity – writing code, designing chips, creating drugs, running search engines. Servers, on the other hand, service these creators (and other servers) by building homes, providing food, offering legal advice, and working at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Many servers will be replaced by machines, by computers and by changes in how business operates. It’s no coincidence that Google announced it plans to hire 6,000 workers in 2011.

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If you study philosophy will you find work practising philosophy?

Thursday, 13 January, 2011

Derided by some as a less than realistic “career” option, working as a philosopher is a surprisingly popular occupation, and ranks at number 16 on the Jobs Rated 2011 Report.

While the work environment collects a relatively low score (which is based on the experiences of practising philosophers I imagine), stress levels are low, the pay is acceptable, and the hiring outlook is promising.

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Is that a dead end job you have or a case of Stockholm Syndrome?

Thursday, 6 January, 2011

Stockholm Syndrome in the workplace… are you reluctant to leave a job or employer that “isn’t all that bad” but is ultimately a situation that you feel trapped in?

Looking back at my own career (specifically some of the extremely intelligent people I’ve met who are stagnating in oppressive companies or positions) I have recognized that many of these people (and sometimes myself) have felt “stuck” for no obvious reason. Some people seem just plain crazy when you look at their skill sets, ability, and the low quality of work or environment they’re willing to put up with.

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Can good looks help you find work? You’d be surprised

Tuesday, 7 December, 2010

If you think your stunning good looks will help you land your next job, be warned, your mileage may vary:

“It follows that an attractive male needs to send on average five CVs in order to obtain one response, whereas a plain-looking male needs to send 11 for a single response,” explains Ze’ev Shtudiner, co-researcher and Ph.D. candidate. However, among women, the BGU study indicates that, contrary to popular belief, “attractive” women are called back for a position LESS often than “plain women” (unattractive), as well as women who had no picture on their resume.

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Engineers have a knack for engineering marriages that can last

Wednesday, 29 September, 2010

Engineers practicing in the agricultural, sales, and nuclear fields, tend to make for more reliable marriage partners, as instances of divorce are low amongst such professions.

What do you infer about people who do a job associated with a low divorce rate? Are you impressed and attracted by their reliability, or do you snicker that they are losers no one wants to tempt away from their marriage? How do you think most folks react?

If you’re looking to make a couple of trips along the aisle in your time though, you may prefer the company of massage therapists, bartenders, and dancers or choreographers, these being examples of occupational groups that tend to experience higher rates of divorce.

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Not a portfolio of work, a portfolio of jobs

Wednesday, 20 January, 2010

Changes in future working practices may turn many of us into freelancers, which could see some working on a multitude of very small assignments or tasks concurrently.

But in a few realms, people have begun to unpack that bundle and reassemble it in new, surprising, and potentially very important ways. As it becomes easier for companies to plug in on the fly to the constantly shifting network of freelance labor, freelance workers have begun to think not in terms of having a job, but of having a collection of different jobs at any one time.

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