Future of jobs that we fail to prepare for.
We teach students how to create innovation portfolios to make sure companies know how to evaluate risks of different innovation endevours and implement them into the strategy of an enterprise to guarantee a good balance of risks, stability of income, and potential growth for the future.
However, we do not teach students how to survive in this ever changing labour environment, that would allow them do the same: evalute risks, guarantee the stability of income, and potential growth for the future. All with the focus to survive, be creative, productive and valuable for the society. That job used to be the responsability of governments and big enterprises, and that is why it was so important for everybody to keep them alive.
Now, we live in the world where we can no longer count on that. Governments, unions, big companies can no longer guarantee us the balance of risks, stability of incomes and potential growth for the future. We experience Brexit, fall down of Kodak, ice bucket challenge etc., and that is freaking crazy.
We still did not manage to understand the big responsability shift the technology made to our lives: it gave us freedom of choices and individual share part in our common future . When things go wrong, we still blame governments and corporations, not our individual actions, not our individual choices.
Maybe because of the under accomplished dreams and promisses…..
We were promissed, that with hard job and loyalty some day we will be able to climbe the company ladder, become bosses, buy cars, houses, dogs, have children, educate them well… in that order, no other, and then, with a little bit of spare time, change the world.
So we kept on working hard, becoming very proficient at creating innovation portafolios for companies, and sucking at creating personal portafolios for life. We have never asked ourselves if it was ok to work 5 days a week, give maternity leave only for mothers, or have just one source of income.
Our job has always been to have one stable income source and, as a bonus, a flexible work hours to spend our entire time on working for one boss, from anywhere and anytime, and have 26 days of vacations, if we are lucky enough to live in the average “ first world” country.
Finally we got to the era of Conceptual Age, where the biggest competitive advantage of a company are their empathetic human resources that can not be exchanged, or outsourced by Automation, Asia and Abundance, as Daniel Pink called it as 3A in his book “A Whole New Mind”.
Suddenly we are being told: “you are free, enjoy life”.
Nobody taught us, or prepared to do so. That was not in the agenda of the industrial age, neither in the agenda of big corporations couple of years ago. They were too busy exploring unlimited access to resources to get rich, building American Dream, turning the war science and technology into the market value, creating suburbs, and connecting the world through the wide web…..
The idea of setting free your employees would be ridiculous in the past. Offering them the other income opportunities and sources would make them less dependent, less loyal, and less controlled. Plus, there was a whole bunch of technology that needed to be managed by defined and precise professions.
However, technology happened, automation happened, Asia happened, millenials happened:
the first generation that realized the dream of our generation x is over.
Nobody woke us up on time until millenials happened. They learned it from social media that we use, but do not fully understand. We were taught to use only reliable information sources: publications, books, parent advices and bosses recommendations.
Millenials learn from anywhere, anytime, have no filter nor pejudice. They are loyal only to things they care about. They become horrible employees in horrible companies, pain in the……. for horrible teachers and parents, and trouble makers in horrible societies.
Nothing will motivate them to learn, work and perform if it is not fun, and purposeful.
They think they have everything figured out, they can be freelancers, keep on dreaming, changing the world, being free,pasionate and useful. However, knowing “why” is only one part of the answer. They have to learn “how” to do it.
Business insider published a very interesting article some days ago titled “Working a 9–5 job, buying a home, and saving in a 401(k) will no longer make you rich”, which basically resumes that people who are doing the best financially have multiple streams of income, do not have a single job, and often the work they do is 100 percent related to their experience and not their education.
The conclusions are clear :
Let us learn, and teach student to generate multiple streams of income, execute “why” projects and have a balanced life.
I call it “personal innovation portfolios”, so when we commit to our jobs it is because of the purpose, value and impact we are able to create for ourselves and the company, so we never again do the job for money.
Only then, we can massify breakthrough ideas because we can feel comfortable to work on without the need of instant gratifications, or outsourced costs. Our multiple sources of income, and balanced priorities would allow us to to live a quality life, and do a quality work at the same time.
This is the future of jobs, and we should find a way to learn it, teach it and live by it. Can we achieve that? I hope we do. We, the generation x, were trained on “how” to make things happen, and then, in return, millenials can teach us the “why” lessons.
In the future we will spend less time at work, but we will create more solutions. We will stop producing and eating chicken with arsenic, and carrots with nitrosamines. We will only do things that matter, are good for us, and we are good at. We will spend our entire lives to learn and get there. We, and our employers will be fully aware of of our unique values. Nobody will be afraid of getting fired, because its concequences will not afect us in any negative way. We will learn how to discuss different and opposing points of view, how to collaborate, respect and love one another.
Not having to work for money will make us create best quality of products we could be proud of. We will start a new era of a brandless society, because each brand will represent a person behind it. Person with feelings, dreams and narratives worth spreading around. Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg have started it already, and they managed to sell us the hope for a better life.
Still long way to go, but let us start today. Do not work for money, but make sure you have enough to keep on dreaming big, maintaining your integrity and peace.