When the words future and work show up in a headline together, well, it’s usually not good news. The World Economic Forum (via Axios) does not aim to change that reality. A recent report, done in conjunction with Boston Consulting, predicts about 1 million or so Americans are at risk of having their jobs disappear by 2026 and will have to train for a new job and/or find it hard to find similarly paying work.
Realizing that this is not a report humans want to read, WEF does its best to soften the blow in its introduction.
The path to a good life appears increasingly difficult to identify and attain for a growing number of people across our global community
Ouch… The report touches upon what I’ve dubbed the whole Trinity. Technology is changing the nature of work. Reacting to that is the need for specialization that is creating an army of haves and have-nots. 1+2 makes the job market for a lot of people that much dire.
The report itself is a bit of slog (as expected), but it takes great pains to remind us that the future is going to produce different jobs that we’re not prepared for yet, and we need to hone our skill sets consistently. It creates some frameworks for individual careers to see how you might transition to a job that is safer and more advanced as your specific job type begins to be sunsetted. It’s worth checking out to see if your career is one of the ones mentioned. And the below is worth remembering.
To even begin thinking about large-scale job transition planning and economy-wide reskilling, the role of individuals will be absolutely critical. Some reskilling will require time off work, some will require gaining additional formal qualifications, perhaps after decades out of the classroom. These efforts will not be easy, and individuals will need to be adequately supported and incentivized and will need to be able to see the eventual benefits of continuous reskilling in the form of rewarding job transition pathways. Here, too, the data-driven approach advocated in this publication may help to created greater transparency and choice for workers. Nevertheless, what will be required is nothing less than a societal mindset shift for people to become creative,
curious, agile lifelong learners, comfortable with continuous change.