A few months back, I got to know that one of the seniors whom we always respected for his impeccable articulation skills, had started his own venture. Being an entrepreneur takes guts and especially when it is in a domain with a lot of start-ups and biggest organizations i.e. Artificial Intelligence. I wasn’t sure if my senior would have the time to share his experience but then I thought, to give a try and contact him. He was kind to share his experience…we talked about 20-25 mins. One of the most striking things, he mentioned was – The 4 trends that will change the way work is done. Apart from these 4 trends we also talked about his journey, which I will also write about, which is very inspiring…but at a later stage.

These trends are more relevant in the Knowledge Industry, particularly – Information Industry. Let’s see what are these…

1. Rising Life expectancy…We will live longer…i.e. we would need income for more years.
Life expectancy increased by 15 yrs from 1980 to 2016 in India. In the next 20 years, it will be the same as other developed nations for e.g. US or Singapore – i.e. 80 yrs. This means many of us and young employees may live for 20-25 yrs after retirement with no active source of income. On top of this..read next point (Shifting employer preferences)

2. Shifting employer preferences….

Increasingly companies prefer to hire younger people who are more agile & flexible to adapt their organizations culture and values. These young people come with a much lesser cost. 

Our education system may still be producing students with more theoretical understanding and technologies which may have become obsolete. Can you believe…we still teach C / C++ in MCA classes!

This leads to preponing of retirement age at a formal corporate work/job roles.

While we have challenges, we have opportunities too…read next 2 trends > Exponential Technologies, Sharing economy

3.Exponential Technologies…
Technologies e.g. Sensors/internet of things, AI/machine learning, Robotics, 3D printing, 3D visualization, Mobile, internet and cloud, Big data, Blockchains etc will create newer job roles…

There is a serious need to un-learn and learn and then re-learn new technical and behavioral skills. This may sound like a drastic change but in reality, it may not so. Often the new possibility is a reimagination of the existing role and knowledge.

4.Changing definition of “Job”

The new definition of “job” as per the EY Future of jobs in India report, will be as below

“Any gainful employment that provides income equal to or more than a standard office or factory-going job needs to be considered as a “job”. Jobs generating through Freelancing, “Uber” models where service delivery happens through an aggregator, Entrepreneur/self-employment models happening especially in E-commerce”

India is already the highest in the share of this online workforce at 24% followed by Bangladesh and US as per data of Fiverr, Freelancer, Guru, and PeoplePerHour (These 4 contribute to 40% of the traffic of all such job sharing platforms).

NetNet: Longer life to live with no active sources of income is a threat. Opportunities are Newer technologies and the inherent nature of the newer technologies suited for gig economy.

So what are the takeaways

1. Take responsibility for life-long learning:

Don’t just focus on the current work, but also focus on the future of the work that you could do. The job roles of futures will leverage existing domains and most likely will emerge in the intersection of 2 or more industries.To learn is not limited to those 9 hrs of work. Remember there are evenings and weekends.

2. Embrace the online economy:

Tomorrow’s work arrangement could be a combination of employee arrangements interspersed with gig working models. We need to understand the importance and evaluate the benefits of contractual labor/project based work arrangements

3. Develop an alternate source of income:

Make the answer to the question – ‘What do you do for a living? difficult. See what you are good at and try doing it…maybe pro-bono to start with.

What are your takeaways? Do mention your reactions in comments below