Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A job for the future

A couple of days ago I came across a list of what are supposed to be must-grab careers of the future. We’re talking Computational Biology, Simulation Engineering, Genetic Counseling and Space Tourism. Sounds more like research areas to me than ideas to inspire a life’s work. Next to each career was a salary range and they didn’t exactly knock my socks off either. I’ve always found that when you look at great careers, you’re looking at people who are after experience ahead of money. In fact, I recall seeing a study showing that most workers would go for praise and appreciation ahead of a modest rise in salary. So what are the hot careers for the future which will win you praise, love, inspiration and the lifestyle of your dreams?

Storyteller. Let’s start simple. The ability to tell stories has been admired since humans first gathered round a campfire. Now, with cultures merging and technology connecting everybody with anybody, storytelling will become even more highly sought after. Not everyone can do it well, but we all have a spark of the storyteller in us and it’s a skill to nurture. Where storyteller merges into mythmaker, that’s where the future lies.

Creative Connector. I’m not sure whether this will be a specific job description or simply something everyone is going to have to be great at doing. Connecting people with people, ideas with ideas, images with images, insight with get the picture. And as sustainability comes roaring in, we’ll be stretching connections in all directions in that amazing dance known as the Power of Paradox.

Paradox Player. These are the people who will have to take creative connections to the limit – and then some. They’ll have left Either/Or thinking well behind and emerged as the magicians of And/And. They will know how to move slowly, carefully and take big leaps at the right time; they will grow businesses steadily and remain paranoid; they’ll keep it simple and complex.

Sisomo Magician. Back in the day they were creatives, directors, designers and so on. In the future we’ll cut to the chase and focus on what connects them rather than divides them. Sisomo. Sight, Sound and Motion on screen. Any screen, from tiny wrist screens to giant outdoor displays. Whatever you want these magicians will deliver with attitude, skill and imagination.

Professional Optimist. One of the great business tools is as old as the hills and twice as useful. I’m talking about SWOT. The simple system where you look at the future in terms of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. I’m always on the opportunity side of the chart using threats and weaknesses as a pivot to new strengths. Optimists have always been rare, but never have we needed them so badly for inspiration, for insight and for a perspective that looks up at the horizon rather than down into the abyss.


Daniel said...

The "creative connector" linking ideas with ideas, insights and foresight that is where my potential lies. Finding the way through complexity by simplification, re-creation and joining, seeing opportunities and always on an optimist way. Great, I can create my future.Tks. - Daniel

Ryan Jones said...

My two favorites from this list are: The Creative Connector and the Prof. Optimist. Indeed, we all need to get better at connecting the dots and thinking holistically. And, I fully agree that the world needs more people who look for opportunities...


Sophee McPhee said...

I love a great story-teller. Back in my high school days, I had the pleasure of befriending a girl (Jess) who was renowned for telling lies. In year 8, she gave the most riveting account of a family ski trip, during which she managed to sneak out of her parent’s hotel room, shack up with a hunky ski instructor for a night erotic adventure, and return back to her bed before the dawn had gained its strength. Her parents awoke shortly after, ready to enjoy their habitual newspaper breakfast, none the wiser! Well, apparently.

Every time Jess opened her mouth, people tended to roll their eyes and share a not-so-discrete “here she goes again” look. I, on the other hand, was always instantly absorbed! While I knew less than a pinkie’s worth of truth could be extracted from Jess’ stories, I couldn’t care less – I loved them; and I was certain she was going to become a more potent (and wealthy) version of Jackie Collins.

We all need a little dose of colour, idealism, frivolousness, wackiness and escapism in our lives. Jess provided food for my brain at a time when relentless study and gruelling exams were ‘my world’. While her days of fibbing are long gone, she now tells the most wonderful stories on stage, through her body and the art of dance. And audiences are paying premium prices, just for a glance.

However, I do wonder: in the 21st Century, a time when there’s more pressure than pleasure and people’s lives seem to be on some kind of high-speed auto-pilot, will society’s appreciation for myths and stories fizzle out? Will we all turn into, “forget the fluff, tell me the key points and benefits, hard and fast” kind of people? Or will our growing need for mental release make them more popular?

Kempton said...


Real nice entry. It reminds me that I should read the book "The Ten Faces of Innovation" by Tom Kelley which I bought and paid for some months ago.


Piotr Jakubowski said...

My favorite one is the Creative Connector, since there seems to be such a great disparity between those who "get it" and those who "don't". Not that it's a bad thing, because everyone has to specialize in something right. You can't have a neurosurgeon be great at plastic surgery as well.

I think these "middlemen" will provide a positive addition to the world of business, let's just hope they know what they're doing - unlike some of these "consultants" out there.

Nuclear Free said...

Awesome ... maybe these people can pioneer audio/visual applications for funding and audio visual reporting/reconcilliation ... get rid of some of the inane paper work and open the world to diversity not restricted by poverty or lack of education ... cheers for the thoughts for extrapolation ...

HYPERverve said...

Hello Kevin! You write wo well, and - in case of this post - you wrote so good!

Today is really a special day (to heal myself from the mood of flu): first I found the new non-profesional blog written by one of my favorite KM/BPM/web gurus (, so wonderful!), and that´s where I found the link to your blog, where I acttually read so re-inspiring words!

I hope you also feel good for this ;)
As long as you keep writing, I try to keep reading.


ruky chand said...

the Creative Connector is something I could do with my eyes shut you do it everyday as a teacher. And can do it out of the classroom too am very lucky!!!!

Kevin Roberts said...

The wrong job title will not lead to the right job. People are bored with yesterday’s jobs, or job titles. Change the language and you change the game.