Tales Of The Obvious: The Only Constant is Change — Even In The Job Market

On one of my long layovers last week, I was listening to yet another interview between a popular tech host and a high-level government executive and the topic of artificial intelligence and jobs came up.

There was nostalgia expressed that the manufacturing jobs of the past will re-emerge in the next decade (by the government official, of course). It then dawned on me that there are quite a few people in denial and not willing to see the obvious.

So, let’s keep it 100.

Technology, whether it be the pen, an assembly line, or software, always leads to a shift in the workforce — away from the current pool of jobs — oftentimes creating new jobs that never existed prior to this shift.

Change is the only constant.

Coal jobs have been surplanted by cheaper equipment and extraction systems; as well as even lower cost labor elsewhere. The same is true for manufacturing jobs.

The current set of routine support and software jobs will be replaced by intelligent software and hardware systems.

In 10 years, there will be another wave of job evolution — focused on automating even more mundane tasks (for that time).

As people who have been around long enough to recognize what is happening, we owe it to everyone around us to be honest and have the difficult conversations necessary to either help people get re-training in areas with prospects (that they are also interested in) or to be at peace with the fact that unemployment is their permanent state going forward.

The only thing that one can be confident in is that Critical Thinking, Creativity, and Communication will be one of the last set of skills that will be shifted into the non-human realm in this evolution.

Let’s educate ourselves and our kids.

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