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3 Reasons Why Your Job Might Be Obsolete By 2020

3 Reasons Why Your Job Might Be Obsolete By 2020

Is Your Job Safe?

The world as we know it is changing rapidly and we’ve recently seen that job security is becoming a thing of the past. There are three reasons why job security is going to erode even further, and why your job may not exist by the end of the decade.

Reason #1: Technology

We all know that technology is advancing at a rapid pace and it’s causing the destruction of many jobs. It’s pretty obvious that more repetitive tasks are going to be replaced by machines, as they increase accuracy and safety in many job areas, yet we have to ask ourselves how far this will actually go. I believe that thanks to technology, many service industry roles will disappear in the future. Replacing human workers with technology simply saves money and increases the effectiveness of many roles.

In the future we’ll be able to walk into an unmanned supermarket where machines handle all the tasks such as processing transactions, restocking shelves (if shelves actually exist) and answering customer questions. That’s if the entire supermarket doesn’t just go straight to operating online where we get our groceries delivered to our door as required.

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The same will happen for most retail stores as shopping online increases in its interactivity and experience (Amazon and Zappos show the start of this trend). Right now, the vast majority of the first-world population works in the service industry, but when technology can deliver better service at lower cost, there are going to be a lot of people out there looking for jobs.

Reason #2: Organizational Structures

When there are fewer people working in a company you simply need less management. Common management wisdom states that you need 1 manager for every 6-7 direct reports—reduce the direct reports and we no longer need as much management.

This means that company sizes will drop dramatically as more and more of their workforce is replaced. Middle management will become a job that involves watching over the machines. Perhaps this is a good time to be working on our IT skills for the future shifts that are coming.

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Reason #3: Outsourcing

The roles that remain will be those that require human creativity on a day-to-day basis, such as graphic design, writing or teaching. There are some things that our brains are simply better at doing and it will be a while before machines can ever replace us completely. In these areas we need to look at globalization and the challenge it presents. There are now literally billions of highly skilled people living in areas of the world with lower living costs than us. If we think outsourcing will stop with just call centers and factories, then we have another think coming.

The reality is that there are increasing numbers of highly educated students with Bachelors, Masters and PhD degrees graduating from universities all around the world. You can find an amazing graphic designer in India right now… and she’s willing to work for a lot less money than US graphic designers.

So What Do You Do to Secure Your Income?

We used to compete in a world where we simply had to be the best in the local economy of our city or town. Then it became the country, and now it’s become the world. If you want to be truly safe then you need to become the best in the world at what you do (at least in the eyes of your target market).

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The reality is that not everything is about price: the new Pepsi branding package cost $1,000,000 and Accenture paid $100,000,000 for theirs back in 2000. It pays well when you’re at the top of your game.

I believe the most important question you can ask yourself is:

How much value can I deliver to the largest number of people?

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If this value is seen as unique, you will always have a source of income providing that you keep it that way. If you can be replaced by a machine or somebody less expensive, then you’re in for a tough time.

Final Words Of Wisdom

From a quote where the source is not definitely known:

“People can be divided into three groups:
Those who make things happen,
those who watch things happen,
and those who wonder what happened.”

So go ahead and choose your group.

More by this author

Craig Dewe

Craig founded Lifestyle Outlaws, with the belief that everyone should have the time, money and health to do what they want with life.

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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