With all the prognostications of people losing their jobs to robots in the coming decade people are wondering what jobs HR people will be able to hold. I have written several times, here, here and here, about the importance of the “human” component of our jobs. Recently Fast Company asked some futurists what they anticipated for the future of jobs. I have taken some of their suggestions and related them to the field of human resources. Here is my take on the hot jobs for HR people in the next two decades.
As I have written before, much of the future workforce will be contingent workers, or as Graeme Codrington, a futurist at TomorrowToday Global, calls them “on-demand” workers. Since everyone will be out there competing for freelance jobs, the person who can project the best “brand” will be employed more often. Just as a brand is important to a company today, in the world of “You, Inc.” brand is important too. Some HR professionals will be well suited to counsel people on how to best position themselves to find work as freelancers. So people who do resume counseling, such as my friend Chris Field, are already positioned to take on such a role. There will be a much greater need for this skill set. By the way, these “brand coaches” will also most likely be freelancers.
Seth Godin wrote the book Tribes, (follow the link for a free pdf) where he said “A tribe is any group of people, large or small, who are connected to one another, a leader, and an idea.” Joe Tankersley, a futurist and strategic designer at Unique Visions, says “that as more companies rely on on-demand workers, the role of a professional triber—a freelance professional manager that specializes in putting teams together for very specific projects—will be in demand.” One big part of this role, in my opinion, is in finding the talent needed to work on these projects. Recruiters are particularly well suited for this future role. Of course they will need some project management skill as well.
The days of tenured positions are rapidly disappearing. The days of freelance professors or teachers are nigh upon us, in fact, many of us serve that role already. Many an HR professional teaches an HR course or certification prep course. If you can expand your repertoire you may easily go from gig to gig.
Sex worker coach
John Danaher, a lecturer at NUI Galway’s School of Law and an expert in emerging technologies, says that many people may be employed in the future performing work that has a significant “human” component to it. It may yet be awhile before robots are as good at sex as are real people and those workers may need job coaches to keep them out of trouble. Since we in HR are used to dealing with sexual harassment situations and counseling people it is not too far of a leap to see many becoming a key part of this industry as it grows in the future. Of course this will assume that it becomes more legalized than it currently is. Given how legalized marijuana has become in some locals it is not hard to see other states adopting the standards of Nevada on a greater basis. Those workers need help and protection as much as do any others.
Other jobs these futurists foresee include:
- Urban farmers (already underway in some locals)
- End-of-life planners
- Senior carer
- Remote health care specialists
- Neuro-implant technicians
- Smart home handyperson
- Virtual reality experience designer
- 3-D printer design specialist
Read the Fast Company’s THE TOP JOBS IN 10 YEARS MIGHT NOT BE WHAT YOU EXPECT by Michael Grothaus for more on those jobs.