I'm a big believer that we are on cusp of a change from the information economy to the creative economy. We've been through these kinds of changes before with the shift from agriculture to industrial to information and now to the emerging creative economy.
Why do I believe that this change is coming?
We've seen jobs in traditional industries dry up and other jobs move overseas. Jobs that we that we would never consider as being offshored have experienced the change. As an example, many large law firms are not using staff in low cost geographies to draft documents, perform research and dig through the reams of documents previously done by lawyers and their staff. The last x-ray you received in the local emergency room was most likely reviewed by a doctor in India. Don't get me wrong. I'm not against an offshore strategy. It opens up new opportunities for those that are ready.
So, where is a worker to look for new opportunities?
The World Bank estimated that the emerging creative economy contributed as much as 7 per cent of the world GDP in 2005. The forecast is for growth rates averaging 10 per cent per annum in the coming years. It is the fastest growing segment of the economy.
The workers of the future will recognize that their success does not lie in their ability to learn a skill (writing software, writing legal briefs, reading x-rays, providing technical support, etc) and then apply it repeatedly to pre-defined problems. Instead, success will be in their ability to use creativity and innovation to solve unique problems, forge new frontiers, invent killer products and quickly adjust to changing market demands and economic forces.
Don't discount your ability to be creative and therefore successful in the new economy. Creativity is a skill that that you can learn, practice and become proficient at.
Creative occupations in the future will include innovation champions, engineers (specialized in product concept development), educators (specialized in teaching creativity) and scientists as well as those involved in the creative arts, entertainment and professions such as architecture and product design. Even in today's market, data show that people who work in creative occupations earn an average of $20,000 a year more than those in non-creative jobs.
Question to answer (post your thoughts/feedback in the comments) …
- What do you think are the “jobs of the future”?
- What are the critical skills needed to be successful in the emerging creative economy?
- What are you doing to prepare?