I read a lot about the future. To me it seems most of the movies, articles, posts or books fall into two camps. There are those that predict a dystopian future and those that predict a utopian future.
The dystopian point of view is a dark and depressing, much like the movie Bladerunner. It presents a grim picture of what the future will look like. Martin Ford’s book Rise of the Robots, predicts a jobless future for humans because of the proliferation of robots. The Boston Globe writer Katie Johnson starts her article on the future of work with “Work is becoming a much less pleasant place.” She talks about the downside of the “Uber economy” and the loss of present day safety nets like company provided health plans and pensions.
The utopian side is presented by futurist writers James Canton, Jacob Morgan, and Thomas Frey. They do not deny the world of work is changing. They do not deny that jobs will be lost and people will be put out of work. But they all strongly feel that with those job losses will be offset by increases in new jobs, in new fields, that don’t even exist at this point. This will require people to learn new skills, but the whole of human history has required that.
Henry Ford, an early proponent of automation (pun intended) which both took jobs away and created jobs, is famous for say “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you are right.” I think this applies to the future of work as well. If you think the future is going to be dark, grim and jobless yours will be. You will not work to learn new skills and adapt to new ways of working. You will find yourself either unemployed or working a lower level job.
On the other hand, if you see the future filled with opportunity and challenges and the possibilities of learning new things and new skills then it will be. You will be open to changes and learning new skills. You will be employed or self-employed performing work that does not exist. It will require that you be adaptive and agile with a high EQ.
My point is this. You will be responsible for your future. If you want it to be a dark and grim one you will be successful. If you want it to be one filled with opportunities you will be successful.
Which do you choose?
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