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View Diary: A scary number from Harper's Index: Will half our jobs disappear? (33 comments)

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  •  I hope so (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, cbabob

    We will need to clear room for new industries people have yet to even dream up.

    Old jobs die.. new jobs are born.

    I never get the fear aspect of this.  People in the 50s or 60s or hell, even 70s and 80s could not have even imagined the kind of things we take for granted now every day.

    The world in a few decades will be unrecognizable in many sectors.  

    Even if you could go back... go back to the late 60's or 70's or whenever Kodak employed 140,000 people doing some odd redundant inefficient job related to chemically bathing celluloid film to provide people with a single expensive limited-function option to take photographs... go back to that and compare what your average life was like then to what people have now.   ....would you exchange it? Would anyone?

    I really DONT want to live in a world where I am expected to toil away in mediocrity for 20+ years for whatever company absorbs me just so I can fulfill some stagnant version of an American cliche and tell myself "At least I have a decent job".

    My father did that.  He has his pension.  He has his union benefits.  He has his social security.  He has his house out in the country that he bought when he and my Mom both retired.   He did A-OK under his social model.

    I wouldn't trade places with him if you paid me.

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 11:55:43 AM PDT

    •  What exactly do you do for a living? (0+ / 0-)

      And how do you cope with the radically lower levels of job security as opposed to your father?

      The Stars and Bars and the red swastika banner are both offerings to the same barbaric god.

      by amyzex on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 12:28:55 PM PDT

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      •  I work in IT (0+ / 0-)

        I have for over 20 years.. I can think of no period longer then 6 months that I ever felt like I had, or was entitled to, "job security".  ...maybe a year since I've done some pretty large projects and I was fairly sure there was no way they could possibly let me go in the middle of something business-critical; but then again with a project that long there is always the options of transitioning to a new director.

        Not when I was slinging calls on a helpdesk or working as a network engineer or a supervisor or a project manager or trainer or a strategic manager or an external consultant or a director.

        In fact, moving up in management has, if anything, made me less secure in my job.  ...when layoffs come, there is ALWAYS blood on the floor amongst the management ranks and I've been laid off a few times along the way.

        I've also been under the constant assumption that if I don't actively work to constantly keep my skills current to emerging technology I will be replaced by someone that has.  ..and if I get laid off while obsolete, I will probably be unable to re-enter my field and will most likely be starting over in another one.

        Occupational hazard I guess.  

        My father was a diesel mechanic and never had to worry about that.  Worked in the same union for over 30 years.  Company got bought and merged and changed names 4 or 5 times in his life and the idea of quitting to look for something else/better never crossed his mind.

        Different worlds.  My father did a damn fine job making his way in his but I wouldn't, for a second, swap it out for mine.

        Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

        by Wisper on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 12:38:24 PM PDT

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        •  Isn't that another way of saying (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bleeding blue

          that fear keeps you on your toes and makes you a better employee?  Why should anyone have to live in fear?

          The Stars and Bars and the red swastika banner are both offerings to the same barbaric god.

          by amyzex on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 12:48:39 PM PDT

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          •  I don't consider it fear (0+ / 0-)

            It is just reality.  Its how this field works and I don't think that's unique.

            I've also quit several jobs to go and seek other/better opportunities.  "Job Security" just isn't something I think about.  For a while I assumed (or had it assumed for me) that it was because I was young.  ..but I'm not young anymore.

            I work.  Here for now.  Who knows how much longer.  Until I quit or they lay me off.  Then I will work elsewhere.

            I do spend some time on and off thinking about what I'd like my next job to be.  I may even start looking around once I move, not sure....  depends on what my wife is doing with her job at that point.

            Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

            by Wisper on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 12:55:21 PM PDT

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            •  And when you can't get another halfway (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Major Kong, bleeding blue

              decent job I guess you will just accept that fact and either happily go live on the streets or put a bullet in your own brain.  After all, that's just the way it is either you keep up or be thrown in the garbage.

              You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

              by Throw The Bums Out on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 04:03:14 PM PDT

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              •  I would like to think (0+ / 0-)

                I have a lot of options before I get to "bullet in my brain" ... WTF???  I've been laid off... I didn't shoot myself in the head.  I just looked for a new job,... including in the middle of the recession... you do what you have to do....

                And yes, in IT, you either keep current or you are retire/are retired.  There is no 3rd option.  Everyone knows this.

                "Garbage" really doesn't factor into it.

                Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

                by Wisper on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 06:01:58 PM PDT

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                •  This is what I call (0+ / 0-)

                  the "My deck of the Titanic is still above water!" syndrome.

                  If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

                  by Major Kong on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 07:07:38 PM PDT

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                  •  Gee you're right... I should wake up (0+ / 0-)

                    Clearly my mindset has really held me back in my career.

                    I don't know what's wrong with me....  I appreciate the diagnosis.

                    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

                    by Wisper on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 04:00:03 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  It's also another way to say (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            amyzex, Wisper

            my job does not define my life.
            I'm 41 and I've worked in my career for 15 years, and have had 7 positions in that time.

            While I have not really reinvented myself in terms of changing professions, I have expanded my skill set and have several options if/when this current job ends, either due to my lack of interest in staying or theirs.

            My wife, on the other hand, has reinvented herself several times over and feels no fear with regard to your arguments.

            In fact, she just did it again, quitting her position and starting her own company in the same field.

            Our jobs do not define us as human beings here in the 2010's like they did 50-60, or even 30 years ago.

            There is no "path" to choose. The path is what is behind you that led you to today. What lies in front of you is not a fork in the road - a choice of paths to take, but rather an empty field for you to blaze your own direction.

            by cbabob on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 01:02:17 PM PDT

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            •  Well said (0+ / 0-)

              I do IT professionally as a job, I do not define myself as an "It Professional".

              Your wife sounds like someone who truly get it.  Good for her.   Good for both of you.

              Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

              by Wisper on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 06:03:09 PM PDT

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        •  P.S. Just read your diary "My Sleep" (0+ / 0-)

          Great work.  Perhaps I am guilty of romanticizing the past and wanting "to be all the same again," like your father's generation wanted.

          The Stars and Bars and the red swastika banner are both offerings to the same barbaric god.

          by amyzex on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 12:53:37 PM PDT

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        •  Not everyone can work in IT (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Green Fascist, bleeding blue

          People who are smart, resourceful, energetic, and in good health will probably be able to make the kinds of transitions you are talking about.   But not everyone can do that.  

          What concerns me is that we are moving ever closer to a winner-take-all society.  Those that can stay ahead of all the changes and adapt will probably do ok.  But that will leave a heck of a lot of people behind.  Like a lot of those people who were happy for the predictability of a corporate job that made it possible for them to plan their lives -  buy a house, educate their kids, take vacations, be part of the middle class.   That is what I fear is going away for a huge segment of the population.  

        •  Look around your IT shop (0+ / 0-)

          If you've been in IT for 20 years I bet you don't see  many people your age or older.

          Ever notice how IT job postings always specify 2-5 years experience but no more than that?

          If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

          by Major Kong on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 06:59:45 PM PDT

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          •  Not true (0+ / 0-)

            Sorry... YMMV but I have plenty of veterans both above me and below me on the Org Chart.

            2-5 years is also a common thing because in IT no one really gives a shit about what you were doing 6 years ago.

            Circa 2008 technology really is not of interest to me (or other employers) anymore.

            Im in the middle of a Moka5 POC trial in our Asia-Pac region.  That company barely existed in 2008.  I just want someone with 1-3 years of experience with it, or something like it and that lives in Singapore.  This isn't some clever corporatist dog whistle to screw old people out of work.

            Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

            by Wisper on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 03:58:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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