The Future of Jobs
I worked at a chemical manufacturing plant in Texas as an engineer for a couple of years right after school. Like any job that pays the bills but that you don’t really like, you can easily convince yourself to stay.
You say things like:
‘It’s not really that bad, I mean, we get free food a lot of the time.’
‘The work isn’t that challenging, but the pay is good.’
Or things to your favorite co-worker like — ‘Without you, I definitely would not be here.’
But I know what I wanted to be saying was:
‘I can’t stop thinking about coming up with a good solution to this problem, damn.’
‘I feel like I am making an impact at the job and understand the bigger picture.’
‘I LOVE ALL MY CO-WORKERS.’
When thinking about that problem, it is hard to place blame on anyone or anything in particular. Yeah, the employer should of done a better job navigating through applicants. Yeah, I should of done a better job of choosing my career.
But it shouldn’t be that hard. (And don’t get me wrong, I am extremely grateful for the privileged position that I am in. That I can find a job when others may not.)
I want a future where the next generation will likely choose a career they will be passionate about instead of having to fumble through jobs they think suck.
Alain de Botton hit home when he predicted how companies will attract talent in the future. He talked about LinkedIn’s idealistic, yet courageous, goals for their workplace. To provide the optimum match for employers and potential employees such that the career will be gratifying mentally and financially.
As companies are growing and trying to retain top-talent in these competitive times, the push to find a ‘perfect’ match is an ever-growing problem to solve. With this, I believe that companies need to be very honest with themselves on how potential employees see the company (i.e. branding and mission), and most importantly, how they will fit within the exact team you will be placing them in (i.e. values and personality).
A lot of this falls onto the interview process and how efficiently the interviewer extracts the important information while balancing time constraints.
Also, as employers become more advanced in their HR tactics like using artificial intelligence to look through a search-space of potential applicants (though this could result in morality concerns), the employees, too, need to be equipped with more tools.
Possibly a machine learning algorithm that takes your resume, aspirations, career path, moral values as inputs and spits out career(s), people to reach out to, or ways to further your goals as outputs.
Possibly programs that encourage little kids, teenagers, and adults to focus on what makes them happy and what they are good at. And to not focus on what society would like them to be.
Either way, we need to spend less time in the wrong job day-dreaming about the right one.