“You cannot sit back and wait for the future of work to happen. You have to plan for it today.” – Carol Stubbings
The potential impact of automation has made the job sector more diverse. Job activities that are more susceptible to automation include physical ones in predictable environments, such as operating machinery and preparing fast food. Collecting and processing data are two other categories of activity that can increasingly be done better and faster with machines. The McKinsey report found that this kind of advancement could displace large amounts of labour, however, employment in those occupations might not decline, but rather workers might perform new tasks. In other words, the shape of our future workforce might be more complex than today.
Due to the complexity of the workforce, signing up for a future gig might pose harder challenges for those who do not know their wants and needs. Unable to predict one’s desired job can also be hard for candidates to fulfil employer’s expectations. That said, it is more important than ever for every job seeker as well as employee to truly master their career path. One way is by understanding the characteristics of future jobs.
See also: How Resume Should be Written in the Future
Responsively, there are four classifications of future workforce individuals can learn. Learning these categories would help people understand and compete better in working side-by-side with technology and higher expectations. Here are the four classifications of the future workforce.
According to PwC experts, innovation and people are inseparable in the red working category. Organisations are stripped-down and nimble, supplemented by talent attracted by the next promising opportunity. Meanwhile, individuals would soon learn that possessing the most sought-after skills means getting the biggest reward package. With this, like-minded workers would gravitate towards each other, aided by technology and innovation.
In this red world, technology would mean a lot as it will encourage the creation of powerful, like-minded, cross border social bubbles, allowing serial entrepreneurs to reach far beyond their size. Technology would also help businesses to build products and business models at a lightning speed. Businesses can also find new ways to serve niche markets and individual preferences without hassle supported by advancement and innovation.
In the blue world, there is a huge divide between winners and losers in the corporate business, said Bhushan Sethi, Global Workforce Capability Leader of PwC. It is a world where exceptional people are in high demand. Employers, in this classification, will secure a core group of pivotal high-performers by offering excellent rewards.
Technological role in this blue workforce is very extensive as AI and other automation would be needed to enhance productivity and quality. Human effort, additionally, is in demand too to maximise through the use of physical and medical enhancements.
This world is characterised by a strong social conscience, a sense of environmental responsibility, a focus on diversity, human rights and a recognition that business has an impact that goes beyond financial matters. As for people, they will be attracted by the opportunity to work for an organisation they admire and whose values match their own.
In this world, automation and technology are essential elements to protect the scarce resource and minimise environmental damage. Technology would be used extensively to replace the need for travel, in turn driving rapid innovation in communications technology.
This is a world where collaboration is key. People and companies seek out greater meaning and relevance in what they do. Like-minded individuals would gravitate towards each other, aided by technology platforms. There will also be a strong sense of identity, with individuals seeing themselves as members of their profession. Work, however, is often a fluid concept and a regimented 9 to 5, Monday to Friday working week is rare, where borders between home and work are blurred.
Same as other worlds, technology would essentially be needed. Yet, there will be some downsides. As an example, automation might create a fight because more people are impacted by technical advances and see their skills become obsolete, pushing each other to voice their diverse opinion and only those of favoured elite will win.
As the world of work will be so diverse, not just in terms of an office environment but also the job itself, people and leaders need to rebuild and reshape their ability to meet the demand of the world of work today, without decreasing the self-value and own-satisfaction.
Jon Williams, Joint Global Leader People and Organisation, PwC, advised that for existing workers, the key is flexibility and adaptability. Individuals need to think of themselves not as the job that they do, but the bundle of skills that they have. People need to think much more about lifelong learning on how to stop, start and reclaim different points of their life to well contribute in different ways.