Making work human

There are three kinds of jobs set to do well in the face of automation. Because while it’s true that technology is taking on many routine work tasks, it’s also reshaping many supply and demand trends that can change jobs rather than eliminate them, writes John Hagel in the Harvard Business Review.

On the demand side, technology is giving customers far more power than they’ve ever had, enabling them to switch much more easily from one vendor to another. On the supply side, technology is helping to expand the array of product options while also compressing product life cycles.

So, there will be more and more business for creators, people able anticipate the rapidly changing needs of individual customers and to design and deliver creative and highly tailored products and services.

“In many respects, we will see the resurgence of craft businesses that are already emerging in areas like beer and chocolate,” says Hagel.

There will be a growing category of work for composers, those who understand the aspirations and needs of small niches of customers and who can compose engaging and rewarding experiences for them. These experiences could range from tours of art galleries or gardens to interactive experiences that help people to connect with others.

And thirdly, there are the coaches who will help customers achieve more of their potential across various domains. Expect an expanding array of coaches in areas such as dating and relationships, travel, entertainment, financial affairs and life-long learning.

“The focus of work will shift to activity that draws on the far more human capabilities that machines will find much more challenging to replicate,” Hagel states.

Image: Steve Mullins

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