What will the world of employment look like when your child enters it? In the last ten to fifteen years, the world of employment has steadily undergone changes many people might not have seen coming. COVID has hastened some of these. Thanks to automation, Artificial Intelligence, globalization, and changing demographics, more radical changes will continue to occur, guaranteed to radically transform the world of employment from what it currently is. In this article, you’ll learn ways the world of employment will change in the future and how you can better prepare your children. One clear example from my own experience is that a power company employed five people on six-figure salaries and flew them worldwide to inspect power stations at the rate of one power station a week each. They now have one person based at home on that salary, and a local engineer wears a headset and looks where the inspector asks them to. The other four have been made redundant.
We have a series of linked articles such as helping your child understand the world of work and the benefit of part-time jobs. We also look at what employers are looking for and how your child might develop these qualities.
Six Ways the World of Employment Will Look Different in the Future
It’s a given that when you know the ways something might change, you’re automatically in a better position to deal with the changes. The same applies to the future of work. Below are ways the world of employment will change in the future.
- The gig economy will come into full effect. Currently, most employers hire people permanently to fulfill their needs. However, permanent employment will essentially be a thing of the past, with the gig economy coming into full effect. In the future, companies will start hiring on a project-to-project basis, creating a system that’ll allow more competent individuals to hold multiple positions at different organizations. The employees will simply sign short contracts and move on to the next thing at the end of their contract.
- Less middle management will be needed. Companies assemble teams that serve their purposes, monitored by middle managers to make sure things run smoothly among team members. This won’t be the case in the future. Already, companies are currently using low-cost GPS to monitor the progress of delivery drivers. Some companies even use earpieces and online tools to relay instructions and encourage their employees to report on each other’s performance. Now with people working remotely from home, the technology of tracking employee productivity is increasing. According to Gartner, in the future, technology will enable employees to use avatars, language software, conversational interfaces, and real-time dialect translation to work and speak with team members. What’s more, Gartner also reveals that technology will assess employees to know when they’ve worked too much and when they need to recharge by monitoring their biorhythms, nutritional requirements, and exercise needs. With all these available, the need for permanent middle managers drastically reduces. The fact that businesses will transition to assembling teams on a project-to-project basis further reduces the need for middle management. Jobs will either be senior, coming up with vision and strategy or processional, undertaking this strategy. We look in this article about the role of AI in education. This is going to become even more prevalent in the workplace they go into.
- Zigzag career paths will become normal. Almost everywhere in the world, people practice the ladder model currently. With the ladder model, all an individual has to do is choose a niche. Then settle in and start climbing, in a straight line mostly, to the pinnacle of the corporate ladder. The opposite of this will become the norm in the future. Cathleen Benko, vice-chairman of Deloitte in San Francisco and co-author of The Corporate Lattice, refers to this model as the lattice model. In the lattice model, employees will take to different roles and acquire different experiences, giving them much more range than those in the ladder model. “The model recognizes that moving forward in one’s development is not limited to moving upward on the traditional career ladder,” says Laura Saklad, Chief Operating Officer, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliff LLP.
- Experience will matter less than digital dexterity and regular upskilling. In the future, work will be more complex. Plus, it’ll require considerably more intellect. As a result, employees will need a high level of digital skills to get work done. Businesses will be more willing to hire someone who can quickly understand and adopt relevant technology. Employees who have shown readiness to upskill will have the edge over others.
- Remote work will increase. Remote work will become even more widespread as companies seek to assemble teams on a project-to-project basis. In search of flexible hours and locations, more and more people will offer their services as freelancers from wherever they are. Being able to recruit people from all over the world and not having office space has significant savings on the ‘bottom line’. Naturally, freelancers work to acquire the skills they need before becoming freelancers. “Typically, these remote freelancers are very entrepreneurial, which is one of the mindsets that startups are looking for,” Vassili van der Mersch, founder of Sevendays, a new platform specializing in matching established freelancers with startups and digital agencies. “They are self-starters and they don’t need someone looking over their shoulder.”
- There’ll be increased demand for some occupations and reduced demand for others. Due to automation and artificial intelligence, certain occupations will simply cease to exist in the future. The fields most susceptible to automation include data collection and processing and most predictable and systemic physical activities. On the contrary, other industries like health care will experience increased demand. According to McKinsey, there’ll be at least 300 million more people aged 65 years and older by 2030. This trend will increase the demand for nurses, nursing assistants, doctors, and health technicians. McKinsey estimates that healthcare and related jobs from aging could grow by 50 million to 85 million by 2030.
How to Prepare Your Child for the Future World of Employment
Considering what the world of employment will look like above, it’s clear that employees will need to depend a lot on their cognitive ability. They will have to learn, unlearn, and relearn on the job. With this in mind, let’s look at how parents can better prepare their children for the future world of employment.
- Cultivate fearless learning in your child. Learning fearlessly is one of the most important skills you can cultivate in your child for the future. Most of the jobs children will do in the future haven’t even been invented yet. A report published by Dell Technologies reveals that 85 percent of the jobs that’ll exist in 2030 haven’t even been invented yet. As a result, employees of this era will have to do a lot of on-the-job learning. Hence the need to cultivate fearless learning in your child. Teaching your child to learn fearlessly begins with a shift in mindset. First, you need to get them to understand that learning is a lifetime pursuit and a chance to improve their skills. However, they can only learn by practicing constantly. Subsequently, encourage them to choose age-appropriate but complex tasks to master. Let them learn by trial and error. Get them to concentrate on the process and praise their efforts whenever you see an opening.
- Instill cognitive flexibility. Cognitive flexibility will be integral to the working conditions of the future. By definition, cognitive flexibility is simply the ability to adapt to a constantly changing environment. A cognitively flexible child can think about multiple concepts simultaneously and adjust their behavior according to the context of any situation. A great way to instill cognitive flexibility in your child is to encourage them to go outside what they’re already used to. Let the child try different solutions for the same set of problems. Other fun ways include listening to strikingly different music, exotic foods, changing the rules of their favorite games, switching up routines, etc.
- Teach them to negotiate. One of the dominant changes of the future is the gig economy, where people will work on a per-project basis. In our work, we have all seen how some people are happy to negotiate their rate of pay, and others accept what they are given. Your child might be one of the people offering their services in the future, so they need to know how to negotiate to avoid getting the short end of the stick in every gig. You can start teaching your child the art of negotiation by involving them in your decisions. Of course, not every issue should be open to negotiation. However, allowances, curfews, and chores should be available for negotiation. This might seem contrary to a lot of advice we have given, but as they become older teens, they need to understand how to value their worth. During negotiations, help them manage their emotions. It’s easy to feel annoyed, irritated, or insulted by the other party’s offer. Teach your child not to react by remaining calm. Instead, they should learn to actively listen and read between the lines to understand what the other party truly wants. Finding this information will help the child ascertain whether a middle ground is possible.
- Stay current on the latest predictions. This article has highlighted some of the main changes that will occur in the world of employment in the future. But more predictions will happen as experts observe the advancement of technology. As a parent, you’d want to stay current on the latest predictions so that you’re better informed on how to continue to prepare your child for such a future.
Final Thoughts on What Will the World of Employment Look Like?
Employment is going through some of the biggest changes for since industrialization. COVID and technology has made employers and employees reestablish their priorities and what they are looking for. Apart from some vocational professions (teachers and nurses) almost every industry is changing. Automation of labor in warehouses, farming, and factories as well as data-based roles means that the employees of the future, are our children. They need to be more entrepreneurial and resilient as the ‘job for life is gone. It is likely that they will have several jobs at the same time as they manage. They need to be ready to embrace change, rather than fear it. It will also need a mind change from us as parents!