Back in late November (2017), a news story about changes to the workforce by 2030 quietly made the rounds and disappeared.
The stories discussed a recent report from McKinsey Global Institute.
They estimated as many as 800 million workers globally will be displaced by automation.
The World Economic Forum suggests women will see job losses at about twice the rate as men.
The fourth revolution is well underway and work as we know it now is changing.
Jobs will disappear. Jobs will change. Jobs that don’t exist now will come into being.
Wage gaps will get wider.
Focused efforts on retraining will be critical for mitigating the impacts of automation.
The more I thought about it, the more gobsmacked I became.
This story should have been shouted from mountain tops.
Being in the midst of a revolution is a HUGE deal.
Shifts in desired skills will start appearing as early as 2020.
That’s only 2 – T.W.O. – years away.
(And 2030 is only 12 years out.)
I’m baffled as to how a story like this continues to fly under the radar.
Massive change is afoot like none of us have seen.
If we thought economic downturns were tough, we’re looking at a turn-everything-on-its-head game changer.
Now, hold up a sec.
Before you start thinking I’m doing a Chicken Little, I think this is all extraordinarily mind-blowing exciting!
Think about it.
How often does a person get to be part of a revolution?
How often do you?!
We’re actively determining history by the future we create.
That’s a pretty big weight to shoulder!
Because we’ll be navigating change together instead of waiting for someone to show up.
There won’t a whole lot of options to opt out.
You’re going to be impacted whether retired, in the workforce or at school.
The biggest, likely most difficult, and greatest life-changing shift I believe coming is one that’s long, long overdue.
The breaking apart of who we are and what we do.
We’ve been shaped into allowing our paid work, among other activities, to define who we are.
We say “I’m a teacher, a doctor, a plumber, a stay-at-home-mom, a programmer.”
As if that captures everything you are.
When you can’t do what you’ve always done anymore, who do you become?
Believe me, you are far too multi-faceted to be defined by a role you have or the skills and effort you trade for money, or how you spend your time.
The pressures of automation on what you do may very well be the opening to discover more fully who you truly are.
Work and Life won’t be opposing forces needing balance.
Questions change from
what can I do?
to along the lines of –
what always draws me in like a moth to flame?
what do I most desire to contribute and help others?
what best expresses who I am?
where do I feel most at home, feel the most sense of rightness?
The answers will combine in ways you never thought before.
Anticipate some innovation and mucking about for a bit, but you’ll discover a deep pool of latent talent there as well.
What you do will not hold power over you being able to be you.
Navigate from you, not the work you do.
Start practicing the skills to be you now, and you’ll be plenty ready for the changes ahead.
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