The Future of Work

The Future of Work

10 years ago, I was obsessed with Youtube.

Whereas mainstream media didn’t show Asian Americans and their stories, I found an abundance of diverse artists, musicians, and comedians on Youtube, showcasing their skills, talents, and interests. I learned how to do makeup from girls who looked like me, and showed me step-by-step how to accentuate my Asian features (why, hello cheekbones!).

Since then, many of these individuals have built an entire career from their Youtube channels by staying connected with their audience, constantly improving their content and quality, and staying relevant to the changing times.

And, now being a Youtuber is a j-o-b.

As we confronted the start to 2020 with massive world events, the rate of change continues to accelerate. Technological advancement and disruptors in every industry will change the way we live and work at a rapid pace.

What job will you have in 10 years from now?

This is the only thing we can be sure of…  Jobs will disappear. New jobs will appear. Work will continue to shift from large corporations and full-time employment structures to independent contractors/free agent employment, with 50% of the workforce predicted to be freelancing by 2027 and 80% of large corporations planning to substantially increase their use of a flexible workforce. Sustainability will be a competitive requirement for businesses. Technology will be ubiquitous and those who can harness it will have a competitive advantage. We will be more and more individually responsible for our own retirement, healthcare, and career paths.

Whew! Are you still with me? I know this may be unnerving. 

But I don’t see a better time than now to understand and take advantage of this reality. In fact, many of these future changes can mean more career options, ways to do work you love and get paid for it, less risk to change career paths or start small businesses, and increased accessibility to information and financial opportunities.  

In the future, businesses with a modern business model will thrive. And similarly, individuals with a modern life design model will thrive. Given that the job you have now or are pursuing now, may not be available in 10 years, how will you choose to design your life and your work so that you can thrive in unpredictability?

Here are 4 strategies I recommend:

Focus on Building Skills 


Allocate time every week to build and hone core skills you’re interested in and that the market needs. Make active learning and education a normal part of your life. Instead of fixating on job titles or planning out a linear career path, focus on valuable skills and niche knowledge areas you can build, deliberately practice, and master over time. Become a student of life, engaging with subjects that help you understand the world at a macro and micro level and encourage interdisciplinary thought. 

Don’t Shy Away From Technology 


Stay on top of technological advancements and choose some areas of interest to learn about (i.e. Artificial intelligence, Machine Learning, Cloud Computing, Cybersecurity, Big Data). Take classes and educate yourself. You may find pockets within it you enjoy!

Create Your Mental Health Scaffolding Plan


Work with a mental health professional or coach to strengthen your mental health, emotional intelligence and self-knowledge. This will allow you to design life and work options within a stronger context of self-knowledge and support conscious living. Spend time excavating your learned experiences, healing past traumas, and changing maladaptive behavioral patterns to boost your ability to adapt to changing circumstances, respond proactively, and manage anxiety and stress effectively.

Re-frame Uncertainty with Open-Mindedness 


Be open-minded about the direction of your life and your work. Stay curious and learn to engage with unplanned events opportunistically. Instill practices for good decision-making and iterative processes, as our problem is no longer access to information, but rather an overload of it and resulting challenges in decision-making (i.e. choice overload, bounded rationality, fixed mindsets, inaccurate self efficacy). Learn to think outside the box, prototype ideas, see wins and fails as both great learning experiences, and apply learnings forward to future choices. 

10 years ago, Youtube was a still a fledging platform without a profitability model for creators. And now, the highest earning Youtuber in 2019 made $26 million.

Imagine the possibilities…

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