Working toward jobs which don't exist

Jobs servicing entirely new industries that have sprung up seemingly overnight.
Jobs servicing entirely new industries that have sprung up seemingly overnight. Federico Caputo

I REMEMBER, pretty vividly, being told at high school that I'd likely end up working in a job that didn't yet exist.

This was in the late '90s, with the arrival of the 21st Century beckoning, and with it the promise of hoverboards and self-lacing shoes.

While both of those technically do exist (just not on the shelves at your local sports store yet), you'd be hard pressed to find anyone whose job title is "hoverboard mechanic".

But that doesn't mean that the prediction is untrue - there are plenty of people working in jobs today that didn't exist five or 10 years ago.

I don't mean simply new jobs created due to demand, but jobs servicing entirely new industries that have sprung up seemingly overnight.

Perhaps the best example is the software development industry that has taken form around the various smartphone platforms, with developers creating tens of thousands of applications and creating a billion-dollar industry.

In the nearly six years since Apple launched the iPhone, entrepreneurial minds have forged lucrative careers creating software for not just the iPhone, but the other ecosystems growing around other manufacturer's products.

There's big money to be made, for the right idea - teenager Nick D'Aliosio created a news summarisation app, Summly, which he recently sold to web-giant Yahoo for a rumoured $30 million.

Similarly, seven years ago, Facebook didn't exist. Now people work full-time in social media roles, managing companies' online brands.

But what if you're wanting to get ahead of the curve and ride the wave of the next boom industry?

If you can predict the future, you're sorted. I know if I'd seen the iPhone coming, I'd have snapped up a pile of Apple shares, and come up with Angry Birds.

Most of us, however, can't see the future. What we can do though, is be passionate about something. If you have that passion, you'll be able to apply it and build a career around it.

That said, I don't see technology disappearing. The IT and telecommunications sector will continue to create new opportunities and career pathways, both in and of itself, and in other industries as new technologies provide new methods and solutions to old problems.

Topics:  employment jobs jobs news

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