How Many Jobs Should One Expect to Work in Their Lifetime?

Father Rutler, or as he is commonly called, Father George, is the pastor of the Church Church St. Michael’s the Archangel in Manhattan. As a realist, Father Rutler realizes that the world has substantially changed since the youth that he was born in when he decided to become a pastor straight out of college.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, men in 1966, when pastor Rutler was in his 20s, had on average 12.3 jobs, between ages 18 and ages 52, and half those jobs were held between ages 18 to 24, which means on average, most adults had 6 jobs or less.

Futurist Rohit Tawlar, head of a global futures think tank, predicts that in the future children now growing up can expect to have over 40 different jobs in 10 completely different career paths.

Let the word 40 sink in because it means that in the near future, the total number of jobs people will expect to have will have more than tripled from that world which Father Rutler grew up in.

So how can people prepare for the upheaval?

#1. Realize That Computer Automation and Robots are Making Many Jobs Obsolete

Computers and automation are the main reason why many jobs are going away. Want a shortlist of jobs that have gone away due to automation? Elevator operators, bowling pinsetters, switchboard operators, checkout cashiers, some bartenders, typists, travel agents, film projectionists, assembly line workers, court reporters and more.

In fact, almost 40 percent of workers fear that automation will make their jobs either obsolete or at least downgraded.

#2. Workers in the Future Will Need to be Constantly Re-Educated

Let’s say you are a website creator or a print illustrator. You might have spent years learning your craft. But can you envision in the future a business person, sitting at a computer and typing a few parameters into a search form and then instantly, artificial intelligence will analyze hundreds, maybe thousands of websites, and give a businessman 50 choices to choose from within two minutes?

It may indeed happen in the not too distant future, and what will the thousands upon thousands of graphic artists and web designers do? Most will go back to school for additional training in a hot field that isn’t yet touched by automation.It’s very conceivable that in the near future, workers will need to go back to school 4 or 5 times to learn a new job skill.

#3. Tune-Up on Your Soft Skills

Unlike many hard skills, soft skills such as showing empathy, resolving conflict and leadership will never go away. They can’t be achieved by bots. Also, companies realize that people with superior soft skills are very adaptable to learning a new job.

#4. Read the Tea Leaves

If you use your imagination, it’s not hard to figure out which jobs may go away and which jobs will be with us for decades. Do you think a bot will replace a trained plumber, a nurse, or roofer? Not a chance.