Everyone I know is by a beach, on a boat, or in a park, and I myself am looking forward to a drink outside, so I’ll try to keep this short. I want to touch on something I’ve been turning over in my head for the last few months or perhaps even years. It’s become common place to declare the death of things and complain how our jobs are disappearing, or rather being replaced by technology. No one reads newspapers, everyone is a photographer, that sort of thing. I for one am happy that my job is being replaced and more than that, I want to be the one who replaces it.
There seems to be two approaches one can take in the coming years. You can stubbornly turn a blind eye at progress, bitterly muttering beneath your breath, or you can embrace it and run forward with curiosity and wonder. Disruptive technologies are becoming the norm, if you think that 10 years from now your job will exist in the same form as today, you’re mistaken. The most interesting people I know have a hard time coming up with a job title, frankly, most of them don’t have “jobs” in the traditional sense.
I think that soon, surely it has already begun, the most valuable skill will not be doing something extremely well technically (save for top-tier niche positions), technology will solve that for us. One doesn’t have to look any farther than the photo industry to see evidence of this. Rather the most valued individuals will be those who are good at getting good at things. Learning new software, using new tech, knowing the best places to find specific types of information. As innovation speeds up, those who can keep up with it will stand out. Companies won’t hire based on how well (deep) you know a particular skill because that skill probably won’t matter in a year. They’ll hire based on how quickly you can learn and adapt those types of skills.
I’m excited for this type of future. It embraces curiosity over indifference, risk over security, experimentation over tradition. It’s a future that takes new ideas and runs with them rather than putting up barriers against them. It’s one where better, smarter, and fairer ideas win rather being hushed and destroyed. Sure there might be a few tough years here or there, but on the whole, I think, all of us will come out on top.
Illustration by benoit.crouzet