If I ever put it together, the unexpurgated version of my CV would include 28 jobs, shared between permanent employers and freelance clients. It would cover sectors from government to relationship therapy, television to accountancy. So I felt smugly ahead of the curve when I read about the futurologist advising schools that they need to prepare pupils for a world in which they may be working until they’re 100 and will need skills to build a portfolio career.
But look at the kinds of careers he has in mind:
“You might be driving Uber part of the day, renting out your spare bedroom on Airbnb a little bit, renting out space in your closet as storage for Amazon, doing delivery for Amazon or housing the drone that does delivery for Amazon.
“There are all these sort of new sharing economy models coming through,” he said. “We need to start thinking about these things, we need to start thinking about the kinds of skills we’ll need to help people stay employable.
You’ll have noticed that none of these things are careers, in the old-fashioned sense:
an occupation or profession, especially one requiring special training, followed as one’s lifework
They’re just ways to pay for food – and he’s assuming that we will all have houses with rooms to let, cars to use for our part-time parcel delivery/cab driving and are willing to support Amazon as it takes over the world.
So, could your job be done by a robot?
between 30% and 80% of all the jobs that exist currently will disappear in the next 10 to 20 years, as businesses increasingly invest in automation… On the one hand, we’ll be living longer. On the other hand, we’re not sure how people are going to earn the money to buy the goods and services that will largely be produced by smart software and robots,”
If this is a guide there aren’t many jobs safe from the advance of automation. Follow the link and see what your future holds: I came back with a 17.5% chance of seeing my livelihood taken over by a machine – odds I think I can live with. If you need more security than that, it may be time to re-train as a mental health social worker (0.3% chance), or scramble up the corporate ladder while it’s still there and become a Chief Executive (1.5% chance). Who (or what) you will be Chief Executive of, though, is open to debate.