The same automation that eliminates jobs also gives us significantly more capabilities – skills where humans excel. No matter how much we automate, there will likely always be work opportunities where human skills will be valued – until Skynet takes over.
We can now cultivate a network that spans thousands where just a few decades ago our network of ‘friends’ would likely be measured in double digits. The value of our flexibility, intuition and relationships will likely continue to be valued.
What are the component skills of the jobs of the future? Here are a few ideas:
- Change management – Individuals that can help others embrace change and transition to new modes of operation. They will need to be experts at context transfer.
- Transcendental optimization – Those that can move beyond just simple tweaking (that can likely be automated) to breakthrough optimization approaches.
- Disassemblers – What you shut down can be as important as what you start. These skills will focus on how to shut down existing environments.
- Strategic futurists – Roles that focus on envisioning the future and can convey that to others effectively.
- Ethicists – Functions that focus on the ethical and legal use of technology.
- Unique recognition – Although most situations can be handled in a standard way, those that can recognize when something is unique or at a critical inflection point will be crucial.
- User interface design – Although there will be less user interfaces required, the need to share that information and focus attention to greatest effect will be critical.
- Evangelist – Every good idea needs to be marketed effectively to be embraced.
- Modeler – All models are wrong but some are useful. The ability to effectively abstract complexity out of systems is a critical skill.
- Juggler – Keeping a number of balls in the air will continue to be crucial.
- Fixers – Abstraction is what makes many types of technology useful to the common folk. Sometimes though it doesn’t work and extraordinary measures will be required. Those who can do this best, will always have a job.
These can be aggregated together into thousands of new functions. What do you think?