May 1, 2020 | The Jobs of the Future
Our Need for Personal Mission
It’s not a secret that both the Millennials and the Z-generation are vision- or mission-oriented. Young people are no longer looking for a paycheck in their jobs, but also a broader purpose (or, from Japanese, ikigai). This can have really interesting long-term consequences for the job market. In particular, it is easy to foresee that the jobs of the future will address this trend.
Let’s use an example. How does helping PhDs in developing new careers looks like? One starts from writing books, and then organizing courses for PhD graduates looking for jobs on the open job market. One task leads to another, and the scope of your actions grows. Universities start ordering your services as a speaker and as a private career advisor for some of their research employees.
The point is: when you dedicate yourself solve a particular problem, you can’t stop the ball from rolling. Sooner or later, you will end up juggling twenty different roles to tackle the same problem from different angles. These roles were traditionally seen as separate professions. And if, in the name of your goal, you need to learn one more skill and take one more role, so be it!
How Personal Mission Will Define the Jobs Of the Future
Therefore, jobs of the future will probably be more fluid. Namely, they will be less defined by the type of activity (e.g., Data Scientist = a person who analyzes data, politician = a person who proposes and passes bills in the government, author = person who writes books) but more by the problem you are solving. You will focus at solving the problem XYZ by taking a wide range of actions to solve this particular problem. These actions traditionally belonged to separate professions but will now all fall under one overarching goal, e.g., research, lobbying in the parliament, public speaking, writing books, teaching, developing commercial products for consumers and/or businesses, etc.
The difference between developing the “traditional,” specialistic careers, and becoming a “problem solver” can be compared to the difference between becoming a speed-runner and a chess player. In speed running, the point is to get towards the target in a straight line. As a runner, you make consequent and well-defined steps as fast as you possibly can.
For instance, if you want to become the top Data Scientist, you need to learn statistics and programming. You also need to learn about the data science and machine learning tools, pick data science projects, and build a portfolio of completed projects. You need to always aim at more and more challenging, complex, and prestigious projects than the ones you completed before. Then, you get orders from some high-brand companies. Together with your portfolio and experience, your network and earnings will steadily grow. The faster you complete your projects, the better for you, and the faster your work will get in value.
On Solving Societal Problems
However, what happens when you, for instance, decide to solve some societal problem instead? Let’s say, when you want to improve the situation of single mothers in your country?
Let’s imagine that you spot the problem after a series of personal encounters with single mothers who tell you about their situation. So, you do field research, reach out to more single mothers, and try to estimate how large the problem is. Then, if you have access to public funds, you might think of more systematic studies on this topic. Next, you launch some online activities to raise awareness of this topic: blogging, tweeting, writing articles on Medium/LinkedIn. You might also write a book after you analyzed the problem throughout. So you try to find people who think alike, and who are interested in solving the same problem. You might present at conferences and meetups to bring more awareness to the issue. You might even get invited to speak about the problem in the government if you meet the right people on your way.
From this point on, you can develop in multiple directions. Perhaps, you create some (online) educational program for single mothers. Or, you collaborate with the official authorities to write a new bill offering new tax reductions, subsidies, or an extra budget for education. Or, perhaps, other people invite you to participate in their initiatives. You might find yourself learning new skills every day, juggling ten different activities traditionally seen as separate professions within one year, taking detours and career moves that you would not be able to predict a few months or even a few weeks before. Before making every move, you need to think and evaluate whether, strategically, this move serves the ultimate purpose. Or, whether it will serve the purpose a few moves ahead.
Is a Mission-Driven Path for Everyone?
For this type of job, you need to be a generalist. Namely, someone who easily crosses the boundaries between different environments, easily finds their way with people, quickly adapts, and can draw conclusions based on noisy or incomplete information. The number of mindful individuals who fit this profile is steadily increasing.
They usually have a difficult start though, as they need time to build the name. If you are a type of protagonist who is a problem-solver in some area, it will be difficult for you to get noticed among all the noise and all the empty projects burning the public money just to “raise awareness about a problem.” But sooner or later, you will make it – especially if you find soulmates in the space and build a mastermind group.
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Please cite as: Bielczyk, N. (2020). The Jobs of the Future. Retrieved from https://welcome-solutions.com/all-posts/job-market-analysis-and-predictions/the-jobs-of-the-future/