How Future-Proof Is Your Job?

When planning your career, it's essentially impossible to know if your job will be safe in 50 years. It's still worth asking, though: just how future-proof is the work you do?

Photo by Mitch Altman.

Technology has caused a dramatic shift in how work is accomplished. Assembly lines utilise more and more robots, self-checkout systems allow one cashier to manage multiple registers, and in the next few decades, self-driving cars could potentially threaten everything from valets to taxis. As productivity blog Lifehack.org points out, increasingly in the modern world, your value as an employee is dependent on what you can bring to the table that other people can't:

If this value is seen as unique, you will always have a source of income providing that you keep it that way. If you can be replaced by a machine or somebody less expensive, then you’re in for a tough time.

What about you? Is your line of work threatened by advancements in technology? Do you have an exit strategy or alternative plan if your field of work starts to feel the crunch of encroaching innovation and outsourcing? Or do you prefer not to worry and let what's going to happen just happen?

3 Reasons Why Your Job Might Be Obsolete By 2020 [Lifehack]


Comments

    Im an embalmer..... the job may change but the likely hood of the job no longer being needed. unlikely.

      The task may still be needed, but the job of embalmer may go. It's unlikely to do so anytime soon as "create robotic embalmer" probably isn't very high on anybody's to do list, but it would be possible to create one.

    Automation? Cheaper to post over-seas ;)

    Publishing is not a particularly future-proof industry, just look at Lonely Planet! Jobs have been going offshore for over a decade; first the printers and typesetters, then production jobs, now even editors.

      Offshore yes.. But not done by robot's. Design I think still needs a human element

    No job is future proof so always keep an eye on the job market.

      A lot of construction industry jobs are future proof I believe. For example, I'm a roof tiler. I can't imagine robots or unskilled cheaper people ever taking over. maybe one day way way way in the future when some kind of super cheap, super quick and easy durable membrane can be stretched over the house to create a roof... then maybe. but even that sounds unlikely. I really dont know how roof tilers could ever go out of business. Also, Carpenters, Builders, Floor Tilers, Electricians etc etc...

        Prefabricated homes built by robots in a factory. Then sold cheaply and assembled by buyer much like IKEA furniture is now. The cost savings would be massive.

        Yes I can see this happening if it isn't already

        Last edited 18/07/13 11:24 pm

          Oooohhh I would not think that an average person should ever be building their own flat pack home without a lot of study. I have actually heard of flat pack homes and they do exist, but I cant see that becoming a regular thing until everyone in the world is poor and cant afford an actual home. But I do see where you are going with it.

        Sorry for the confusion, I was referring to a job in a company, say a roof tiler for a big company. They let you go because the contract is over. I didn't mean for the actual job itself. Sorry but I don't think I explained it too well again. I seriously need some sleep....sorry

          Oh yeh I guess that could happen. In a situation in the future where if only a very small percentage of people are able to afford building a new home, the market could dwindle and then only a few companies could survive. Some roof tilers would lose their jobs while I would imagine the ones that are able to survive would have to be able to charge an arm and a leg because of the lack of competition. Could go either way for me then I guess!

    I'm studying to be a Software Engineer, probably one of the more futureproof jobs available. I hardly think anyone's going to be able to automate software design/development. Aside from the technological questions of writing software capable of taking in a human description and converting it into functional software. People are never going to want computers capable of programming themselves, society is too afraid to let that happen.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now