By Rachel Yasmineh
Carry on then. Nothing to read here.
Okay, so what?
I have no idea. So let’s set people up on how to deal with the ambiguity.
It’s a hot topic that makes the rounds. Most articles talk about robots and technology automating a number of administrative roles and how in ten years at least 40% of job types will be gone. Most articles throw a bunch of stats at you and then criticize some for suggesting that perhaps education is the answer. Which it could very well be. Or at least, maybe, it’s part of the answer. Then they talk all gloom and doom and start asking: ‘what about the young people? What if they never find full-time work?? Please, won’t someone think of the children?’
What I have yet to read (and maybe I simply haven’t read widely enough) is what would happen if the answer to the question is no. No, the future of work is not full-time. So what? Assuming ‘the young people’ can find work to cover their basic needs, does it really matter if it isn’t full-time, continuing with leave benefits? Has anyone stopped to think ‘I wonder if all young people actually want to work full-time?’
We know that the gig economy is growing. The ‘old people’ have stats that show more and more ‘young people’ are engaging in freelance work or ‘soloprenteurship’. I can’t help but wonder if this isn’t a reflection on the shrinking full-time job market, but more of what people actually want. Those who are entering the world of work now have access to more information about working than ever before. Perhaps the 40-hour work week (add public transport, business attire, meetings that should have been emails, unpaid overtime etc.) just doesn’t appeal to them.
So if we are not working full-time in the future, what opportunities does this open up? More time spent with friends or family? More time for further education? More time to explore other interests? I definitely won’t secretly be watching season 87 of keeping up with the Kardashian. Ahem.
If your answer to this question is ‘I have no idea’ then you’re not alone. I admire people who try to confidently answer this question. I also think they are a bit naive. In my humble opinion, there are too many variables to accurately predict if the future of work will be full-time or not. So how do we prepare for something we don’t know?
Learning how to deal with ambiguity and building resilience is key. How do you do this? Here are a couple of points I collected from the inter-webs that have helped me deal with ambiguity:
- Listen to your gut. “What you attribute to your gut is really your subconscious looking at inputs from around your world.” (Colin Shaw, Beyond Philosophy, 2013)
- Make decisions on the information you do have, not what you want. Check the facts and know that as more info becomes available you may need to change your response to a situation.
- Learn to deal with stress. Even if you learn how to deal with ambiguity, it can still cause stress. Stress is linked to the emotion ‘anxiety’. Emotions are energy in motion (e-motion) – release it! In a healthy way, preferably.
- Know what’s important to you in your job. If you are starting out in the work world you may not know what this is yet, but do your best and be honest with yourself.
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash