It is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself.
Leon C. Megginson, 1963
World Economic Forum has just published “The Future of The Jobs” 2016 report and when you look at the numbers, it’s simply hard to believe. The Report says, that the most wanted skills today didn’t even exist until 5 years ago and 65% of today’s elementary school students will work in professions, that don’t exist today.
Isn’t this mind-blowing? Would the world imagine this 5-10 years ago? Are the employers and even employees ready for this? ‘Cause if not, bad times are coming.
So, the value of self-education or vocational, sometimes informal education, will soon be higher, than the one from an old academic institution, which refuses to change. Already today, looking at the curriculum of respected universities, you know for sure, that after 3-4 years you won’t be needing the skills they teach you now. And this is the state in the developed countries. Imagine what’s happening in post-soviet countries, for example.
We are living the Fourth Industrial Revolution – the most rapidly changing economical reality in our history and a lot of things are going to change during our lifetime. This means, that like pretty much in any other Industrial Revolution in history, we are going to loose a lot of jobs in short term, but create more jobs of other kinds in a long term. Well, the thing is that the “Future” is already here. Unlike the past revolutions, we have maximum 5 years to adapt, or else the market trends will crash us.
To me, the most important thing in the report was this part: “Across the countries covered by the Report, current trends could lead to a net employment impact of more than 5.1 million jobs lost to disruptive labor market changes over the period 2015–2020, with a total loss of 7.1 million jobs—two thirds of which are concentrated in routine white collar office functions, such as Office and Administrative roles—and a total gain of 2 million jobs, in Computer and Mathematical and Architecture and Engineering related fields.”
So, the skills of 7.1 Million people in 15 countries are not wanted any more. Will they be able to adapt to the new market demands? If not, what will happen to them? These are the scary questions, that interest me.
This here is the rise of the freelancer economy. You need a service? I’ll do it for you from my own location and with my own equipment, you just need to get the result and pay me for that. Of course, there will be jobs that will require physical presence, but there are already tons of successful baking companies on Etsy, which deliver cakes and cookies by post and no office is needed.
Organizational behavior theories say, that the older and bigger the organization is, the
slower it changes. So the changers and players of the new economy are going to be rather small start-ups and experimental educational projects, than big corporations and 100-year old universities.
The 2013 report by MIT Sloan Management Review – “Embracing Digital Technology” (research was conducted by interviewing executives of 450 companies in 106 countries) showed, that most of the CEO-s of big companies (more than $1B in revenue) are not ready to embrace the digital changes and don’t see the urgency to change.
78% of respondents said that the digital change will be urgent in their company in the next 2 years, while only 38% said that the transformation is on their CEO’s agenda.
So, most of the CEO-s are in denial and think they can chose – to change or not. The report also underlines a very important point, that most of the company CEO-s are older and techno-phobic and don’t want to learn how to incorporate technology in their work.
As the needs of the market change, a lot of new startups are being created today to answer the market needs, that big corporations and old companies are very slow to accommodate.
According to the “Kauffman Index Report 2015” on Startup Activity in United States, 2015 was the most active year for start-up creations since 2010 and, according to the report, is the largest year-over-year increase in the last 2 decades.
Another interesting thing in “The Kauffman Index” was the fact that “opportunity Share of New Entrepreneurs was 79.57 percent in the 2015 Index.” This means, that nearly 8 out of 10 people had a job or were students before they opened a company, but did it, because they saw new market demands and opportunities.
One of the great examples is Uber (ride providing company through phone app) – a $200K startup which is valuated at $62.5 Billion today and has even no proper offices. There was a huge demand in transportation market for lower prices and better service and they were right on time to see and meet that (how fair are their wages to drivers, is a topic for a whole new post).
Of course, elephants (being big companies) move slower, than mice (being startups and freelancers), but in this new freelancer economy, when skilled people don’t want to seat in the office and work with 1 employer any more, companies have no choice than to adapt, otherwise they will loose their employees, who make them money and die eventually.
Like in case of static companies, one-skill office employees are not wanted any more. Remember, that after computers appeared in offices, typists lost their jobs.
So what can you do to survive these drastic economical changes?
The only answer is: LEARN NEW SKILLS ALL THE TIME!
You don’t have to go to college or university again. There are tons of free and paid online courses, that will help you do that. Read, watch videos, practice, talk with others, learn however you want, but learn.
Soon I’ll make posts about best online courses to learn data analysis and other new skills, that you need to survive.
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Happy Learning! 🙂