Preparing Ourselves for the Future of Work

With news of Amazon Go that can wipe out 3.5 million jobs in the U.S. overnight – the future of work is definitely on the minds of many.

A friend, who was in financial operations, shared with me that she was previously working on a project – one that would get rid of her when successfully implemented. She got out before she was replaced.

One question that has bugged me since 3 years ago is this: “How can we ensure that the youths can survive in the future?” That led me to start my new venture called “My Working Title”, based on the concept of our careers as permanent betas as mooted by Reid Hoffman, co-founder and Chairman of LinkedIn.

Over this last 5 months, I’ve had conversations with about 70 people on this topic – millennials, parents, educators, civil servants, entrepreneurs, HR practitioners and corporate professionals. Many are seeking for answers, and many are creating innovative solutions. As I seek to empower our youths to find a way, inevitably, I also had to reflect on my own relevance.

There are no textbook or ten-year-series answers, perhaps the answers lie in these approaches:

#1 – Short Term Solution: Get ready for the gig economy

  • Be prepared by assembling a portfolio career – 3 to 5 skills you can maximise. Hone them. Keep relevant. Sharpen your axe.
  • Differentiate yourself – Give yourself an edge by creating your personal narrative
  • Build a collective – Curate a team of people you work well with

#2 – Mid Term Solution: Create new industries and jobs

If you’ve got ideas, the midas touch and an entrepreneurial streak, please go ahead and be a go-getter – by creating jobs, you’re impacting lives, families and generations. Take a leaf from the Guinness Family.

#3 – Long Term Solution: Choose peace or anarchy?

Global institutions and government bodies are doing scenario planning. Corporations are pushing for innovation. Will there be peace via universal income? Will there be another World War? Will we live in galaxies far far away or would we have peace on this earth?

The future looks both exciting and scary – I choose to be an optimist realist (and not an idealist cynic). Everyday I tell myself do my best. I want to add as much value as I can to others, prepare as much as I can, and make both meaning and money.