The future of jobs
Option 1 — becoming a drone pilot
It’s interesting to not just look at jobs that disappeared, but also at the new ones. I talked with Sean, a commercial drone pilot. A job that was nothing more than a hobby in a 90’s scifi flick. But now, it is a very real thing, and Sean from Ricmond Drone Services is doing exactly this for a living.
My parents own a roofing company. I came up with the idea that it is hard to “market” a roof…it is hard to see from the road and most people don’t give a darn about a roof and how it looks. However, drones allow for beautiful video from the air. It is like it was made for showcasing homes and roofing! So, I convinced my parents to let me film some of their latest projects and see how it goes, also we could use the drone to inspect roofs without having to get up on the roof. Playing the safety card in that aspect. So, I started off my first year getting my commercial license and filming houses for my parent’s company. Then I created my own LLC and started doing drone photos and video for other companies, construction, boat dealers and more. Most people have no idea you need to be licensed by the FAA to film or take photos for marketing or for profit.
In this example we see the innovative nature of the human mind. New technologies do definitely offer a range of new options and people will always be there to take advantage of that. In 10 years, when drone flying is automated, Sean might change his business model, or he might focus on an entirely new market. It’s the capability and willingness to adapt to change that makes us capable of dealing with disruptive change.
Option 2 — The public transportation experience manager
But what if a job can be fully automated away? Let’s take a bus driver. Not too long ago, the bus driver had to manually switch the content on the electronic sign that shows the direction. Before that, he even had to change a little paper in the windshield that showed the direction. Now, it changes the sign automatically based on GPS location. In the foreseeable future, the bus will just drive itself. More and more parts of the job are becoming automated, until there is nothing left to automate.
I expect that another great way people will adapt to the automation powers of AI is that they will focus more on what makes us, people, unique to begin with. The human experience.
In a world where busses drive themselves, I see the job of the bus driver change to an experience focused one.
You walk in and get greeted by a friendly person. He makes sure you have a place to sit and offers you some snacks to increase your comfort. He talks with that older lady in the front of the bus, and makes sure she doesn’t miss her stop.
This bus is more than an A to B mechanism. This is a bus where the human experience is key, and people will value it more because of this. I believe that as more parts of jobs get automated, they will be replaced by more human activities. Thus jobs will not completely disappear, but rather change in their activities.