The bad news: Smart tech seems to be taking over. For millions, decent jobs just aren’t to be found any time soon.
For years, jobs have been going offshore; now they're going off-people, into advanced technology.
Also, of the jobs available to people, many contribute to pollution, climate change, resource depletion, poor health, and mindless consumption, undermining human and planetary health. So getting hired may be a mixed blessing, a money plus but spiritual minus.
The good news: With a change in mindset, millions can CREATE a job instead of finding one. And it can be a positive, rewarding job. The key is to make sure it’s in sync with the “highly-human” trend of future employment. That’s the purposeful, satisfying activities only living humans can do, pursuits that technology can’t undertake now or any time soon, if ever.
Another key is focusing on the growing number of green opportunities and needs; and adding “green” thinking to just about any ordinary job or situation.
If you’re a job creator –- entrepreneur, business manager, policy maker -– you’d probably like to bring lots of people on board and make the world a better place, but you face three big roadblocks:
Roadblock one: Powerful economic forces stand in your way. An uncertain economy makes big bets risky; and hiring people is the biggest, riskiest bet around. Also, your competition is outsourcing and off-peopling, and you may figure you've got to do the same.
Roadblock two: Thanks to advancing technology, most organizations can get along with thinner and thinner staffs. You know this and hesitate to hire live humans only to put them on the street relatively soon.
Roadblock three: In the prevailing business paradigm, opportunities to make money are skewed toward products and services of secondary or even negative value to human and planetary health and well-being. You’d like to be green or greener, but may find it tough to compete that way.
In spite of these impediments, there are new methods for creating worthwhile, socially-positive jobs –- lots of them –- economically and in a way that makes you more competitive than ever.
Whether you’re a job seeker or creator, you need to understand exactly what’s going on -– big picture –- in the world of work and the world at large.
Why is job creation such a challenge today?
Politicians and pundits blame the economy, government inaction, the other party, Wall Street mismanagement or corporate greed. While these factors play a role, the basic cause lies deeper and is more nuanced. It could be very positive or very negative depending on how we react to it.
The cause is rapid technological advancement that is eliminating jobs while harming the planet. There are two key parts to it:
First, thanks to visionary thinkers and fast-evolving technology, a large percentage of the work now done by humans will soon be done in part or full by smart technology. The work that remains will require “highly-human” skills that are too quirky, unpredictable, emotional, or intuitive to program or automate. That means high unemployment could persist, increase, or recur in regular cycles unless we invent and politically enable lots of new highly-human employment.
Second, global warming, pollution, and resource depletion threaten the planet’s ability to support the plant and animal species that support civilization. If governments and companies start breaking down, ultimately there may be only two types of jobs left: hunting and gathering. Short term, the environmental crisis offers a bright employment prospect: green jobs and green industries within a new economic model that gives top priority to human and planetary health and well-being. Long term, the crisis could precipitate a golden age of sustainable prosperity, but only if we course-correct on a dime.
# # #
Comments are closed for this blog post