Brilliant culture critic Rob Walker, author of the forthcoming book The Art of Noticing, just launched a new column at Lifehacker about "navigating the modern workplace," a continuation in some ways of his long-running New York Times column "The Workologist." Naturally, Rob's first column in the new series is about getting fired:
...What I’m suggesting is that you should not wait for a major crisis (getting fired, a horrible reorg, your worst rival becomes your boss) to start thinking about other objects. It’s better to always have a kind of low-grade, ambient awareness of and openness to other professional opportunities. That’s true even if you’re ecstatic with whatever you’re doing. Always take the lunch or have the meeting or go on the informational interview that pops up on your radar...
The absolute flat-out most irritating piece of career advice is this: Reframe challenges, failures, slap-downs, and humiliations as exciting opportunities.
Yes, we all get the logic. In fact we all get it so well that we don’t need to hear this advice anymore. Particularly right after we just got fired and it doesn’t feel exciting at all!
So let me try to offer a slightly different reframing. As noted, it totally sucks to lose your gig. But take a deep breath and try to keep an open mind about what might come next. This, in a way, is just a restatement of the “permanent job search” idea, with a little panglossian polish.
"How To Get Fired" (Lifehacker)
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There's a robot apocalypse coming, but it's likely not going to result in the loss of billions of human lives. Rather, it's our livelihoods that are at stake. For some vocations, signs of a paradigm shift are already here. The HRP-5P humanoid robot is designed to be a drywall-hanging machine. It's slow now, but it's capable. Sooner or later, it'll be fast enough and cheap enough to make skilled construction labor a thing of the past. My Grandfather, who spent the better part of his life building churches, homes and movie theaters, would have shit a brick were he alive to see this.
Have no doubt, no matter what you do for a living, that similar appliances are on their way to make our daily toil a redundancy. Society's going to need to learn to adapt--fast. Read the rest
According a report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 66 million people are at risk of having their livelihoods taken away by robots.
From The Guardian:
The OECD said 14% of jobs in developed countries were highly automatable, while a further 32% of jobs were likely to experience significant changes to the way they were carried out.
And of course, the people most likely to get screwed by this impending robot employment uprising are those who can least afford it: The poor. According to the OECD, young people, unskilled laborers and those employed in agriculture, manufacturing and the service sector are at the greatest risk of losing their jobs once robots become intelligent and versatile enough to replace them.
As abysmal as all of this is, there is some good news here. The OECD's research isn't as dire as this study, published back in 2013, which suggested that upwards of 47% of all jobs in the United States were at risk of being phased out in favor of letting robots take over their gigs. Instead, the OECD estimates that only 13 million people will be kicked to the curb.
So much better!
One of the biggest problems we'll face in the future, you know, aside from fascist governments, a global shortage of potable water and the growing threat of nuclear war, is what can be done with the millions of people who will lose their vocations as the level of automation in the workplace makes their presence at work redundant. Read the rest