May I share a dirty little secret that my spouse and I discovered over the past year? We realize it may be shocking and indecent to some, but it’s true— The world as we knew it is indeed over, but for the brave, resilient and willing, a new future is just dawning. The pandemic, while alarming and tragic, has served as a major catalyst for self-reflection, career change, and personal growth. More people than ever are questioning what truly matters, and a big part of finding those important answers involves the choices they make when it comes to their work.
That’s the inspiration for our new book, Tomorrow’s Jobs Today: Wisdom and Career Advice From Thought Leaders in AI, Big Data, Blockchain, The Internet of Things, Privacy and More, available from John Hunt Publishers.
A perennial question: What you want to do with your career?
In our intimate investigation into how people are navigating this paradigm shift, we explore why today, in the Information Age, the perennial question of What do I want to do? isn’t just being raised by the new college graduate. People of all backgrounds, education, ages, and skill levels are taking a whole step back and reassessing their destiny and place in the digital workforce, a choppy and competitive landscape that can feel as unstable as a California fault line or a footbridge girding a Chinese cliff— one you might teeter on while capturing a selfie.
Like most, my wife and I have often felt as if we’re peering over the side of a narrow, uneven path that seems to twist and turn like the tornado that kidnapped Dorothy and Toto. It’s easy to forget that life isn’t black and white and that, more often than not, tomorrow can bring rainbows. But even for optimists like us, our livelihoods haven’t always had that cinematic quality. Certainly not mine.
A few years back, I was strapped into a corporate straightjacket, struggling like Harry Houdini to escape from a padded conference room. From time to time, my employer would let me out of the asylum to attend a conference or two. On one occasion, I was lucky to hear a keynote by a charismatic executive on his use of blockchain technology to assist women farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. What impressed me about him, though, wasn’t the sophistication of his solution, or even its noble application, but the personal journey he shared. It took him from abject poverty to bonafide success. I began to think less about my career as a title and more about my purpose.
I decided to approach him after the talk and ask for an interview. The man, Ashish Gadnis of BanQu, agreed, and a month later, my wife and I published the first interview about walking a mile in the shoes of information age innovators. It went viral.
Since my background is in business and my wife is a lawyer, we weren’t quite sure how to proceed. Yet we discovered in researching his story and his technology that learning must be a lifelong endeavor in today’s digital age, not a fixed point of reference from your formative years. You can view this through a lens of fear and anxiety, or, as Ashish and our other friends in the book taught us, as a deep well of opportunity.
Three key strategies to keep up with never-ending transformation
As the world turns faster, we are forced to ask ourselves, “How on earth will I keep up with this never-ending transformation?” After all, the clear majority of us aren’t exactly on the cusp of engineering the next big thing in liquid AI or taking blockchain to the next level. Yet the reality is, those perceived “inadequacies” hardly matter to your career trajectory in the long run. There is enough opportunity to get started today, and the new vistas opening up tomorrow bring even more promise. And in the five emerging fields of AI, Big Data, Blockchain, Quantum Computing, and the Internet of Things, the job market is still in its infancy.
Learning must be a lifelong endeavor in today’s digital age, not a fixed point of reference from your formative years.From the new book Tomorrow’s Jobs Today
Yet these days, even amidst the Information Age’s abundant opportunities, folks of all skill levels continue to struggle with the best approach to a happy and successful vocation. Business models are transforming the job market so rapidly that even the most accomplished executives and educated employees suffer from anxiety over the stability of their roles. They must routinely prove their intrinsic value to their superiors and define their personal brand within their organization. For new graduates and those looking to make a big career transition, the reality of a continually shifting corporate landscape can feel almost paralyzing. The emergence of impersonal human resource tools like artificial intelligence in hiring practices has compounded traditional fears underlying the search for our rightful place in the new digital workplace.
The business leaders profiled in this book share something in common. It’s an insatiable curiosity and appreciation for what their peers and colleagues do.From the new book Tomorrow’s Jobs Today
With a new generation always clipping at our heels, it’s easy to feel left behind or worry that our education and experience aren’t quite enough. Luckily, there is wisdom to be found in the words of the trailblazers we’ve profiled in our book. They recognize that alarm, but they also share something in common that helps combat it. It’s an insatiable curiosity and appreciation for what their peers and colleagues do. In these chapters and industry stories, we reveal the origins of those crafted insights and three strategic themes common to each of these visionary leaders: One – How gaps (weaknesses) can become opportunities; Two – How less is often more; and Three – Why, above all else, our Relationships Matter now as much as our credentials.
Run in the direction of your fear
Tomorrow’s leaders will be brave enough to scale the dangerous peaks of an increasingly competitive and ethically challenging mountain range. They will drive the tough conversations that illuminate the valleys in between. As we march together through the upheaval of the Information Age, our hopes for the workforce outnumber our worries and concerns. We are an intricate species whose faults are well documented but whose many inspired gifts and evergreen qualities are yet to be tapped.
Do you have a story to share about how you are using Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Blockchain, the Internet of Things, or Privacy to shape tomorrow’s jobs? We’d love to share it with our readers!