I can still recall my parents’ plight that I should work hard at school to enable me to study after school “so that I could land a good job.”
And so I studied and became a teacher. But after nineteen years of teaching the Education Department decided that they had too many teachers and gave us the option to opt out. So I left and started on a new journey as an entrepreneur.
In retrospect I realised that the salaried work as a teacher was a comfort zone with many securities built into it. For my parents who grew up during the Great Depression and started working during the years of the Second World War the “study and land a good job” part worked well and my late Father retired with a good pension that stood him well until he died.
But in the time that we live, things look somewhat different. Job security can hardly still be called a security. The biggest companies often shed more jobs than smaller start-up companies. The reason for this is that the large companies and corporations are part of the big bureaucracies that were an almost integral part of the industrial age (the past ± 200 years since the industrial revolution).
But now we face a new paradigm because the industrial age is drawing to a close, while the information age is busy transforming the economic landscape that we knew for the past 200 years. During the industrial revolution many people that previously worked for themselves, who were self-employed, then had to find a job in a factory or a mine to be employed.
Now the opposite is true. The information revolution is busy reversing this 200 year trend. Many people who previously worked in big corporations can now do their work from home. Furthermore if a job can be replaced by a computer, it will be done. Usually it is cheaper than labour and it can work 24/7.
So, the jobs that will most probably remain are those that cannot be replaced by computers; where people will need knowledge and skill to do the work. So what does it say about your job? Are you qualified for the knowledge economy and are you ready to venture out as an entrepreneur when you may perhaps be replaced by a computer?
You may say that I am bringing you a harsh message, but it is the reality that we need to face today. I have been involved with Entrepreneurship training for the past two decades and this message just becomes more and more relevant each year. I often tell people to stop looking for a job (that someone else must create for you) and to start thinking about what they can do for themselves. Seth Godin predicts that by 2050 there will be no more jobs available; only the ones that you create yourself. Are you ready to take the leap?