Ever find it boring, repetitive, or lacking in meaning?
Did you answer “yes” to any of that?
If you did, then that’s a good thing.
Why would it be a good thing?
Because it means you’ve been warned.
And better still, you’re the one who’s warning yourself.
According to the Associated Press, jobs that “follow well-defined procedures and are repeated throughout the day” total less than half of all the jobs in the US economy (see Why Good Middle Class Jobs Are Vanishing, And They’re Not Coming Back).
But they comprised 90% of all jobs lost during the Great Recession.
Moreover, many of these jobs were mid-pay jobs, which have not recovered with the economy.
Of approximately 3,760,000 middle wage jobs lost during the Great Recession, only 85,000 have returned. And no, that’s not a typo; there’s not an extra “0” missing. 85,000, or just 2%, have returned.
(For a fascinating and sobering interactive demonstration of jobs lost and jobs recovered during the Great Recession, see the AP’s The Great Reset: Vanishing Jobs.)
The reason for this? Increased use of technology.
And similar findings have been found in Canada and in Japan.
And for those who think they may be immune from this because they occupy more senior roles, indications are that the next frontier for technology is “non-routine work” found at the upper levels of work and pay scales (for more info, see Robots Join The Workforce: Will They Claim Your Job?).
And so what’s the “so what” to all this?
As a worker, if you’re doing repeatable routine work, start looking for more complex, more valued work to do. Don’t wait to be replaced.
As a leader, if you have direct reports doing repeatable routine work, start delegating more complex work to them. Build their skills sets. Expand their capabilities. Do so in advance of their being made redundant by technology. And while you’re at, do the same thing for yourself.
Need some extra motivation?
Think of the 98% of the 3,760,000 who are still waiting for their jobs to return.
How do you see the future playing out for jobs? Will they return? Or is a higher level of unemployment here to stay? And why?
Post your answers and comments below.