“There are no longer any great jobs where someone else tells you precisely what to do.”
That’s a quote from bestselling author Seth Godin from his latest book, Linchpin, in which he describes how the best, most satisfied workers these days have become indispensible. They take initiative, propose ideas, and get the job done.
In a recent blog, Godin described why being this kind of worker may be so vital in the years to come. “There are actually two recessions: The first is the cyclical one, the one that inevitably comes and then inevitably goes. There's plenty of evidence that intervention can shorten it, and also indications that overdoing a response to it is a waste or even harmful. The other recession, though, the one with the loss of ‘good factory jobs’ and systemic unemployment--I fear that this recession is here forever. Why do we believe that jobs where we are paid really good money to do work that can be systemized, written in a manual and/or exported are going to come back ever?”
I’m not entirely onboard with his line of thinking. Yes, if a job can be automated cost-effectively, it will be eventually, and technology has indeed eliminated a lot of those stereotypical “good factory jobs.” But offshoring doesn’t necessarily make manufacturing less expensive, and factories now have plenty of jobs available--just not the kind Godin is probably referring to.