Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Future of Value

There are two trends in employment of which we would do well to maintain awareness in the decades to come.

The first is increased specialization. People don't just go into the law anymore, they become a specific type of lawyer. People don't just work in technology, IT, or even Web development anymore, they focus on and specialize in very specific parts of that which have grown into fully developed and established positions. Expertise has become more granular.

This extends down the chain, too. Some things that paralegals once did may now be broken up into eight different specialties. Sometimes these specialties may be part of a process, so, like circuits, they may not just be parallel areas of expertise, but may operate in series at times.

The second is intersections. I once watched a TED Talk in which the speaker talked about how cities tended to form at the intersection of trade routes. This makes sense because as two things independently found to be of value were brought together, additional value was found in combining them.

The same holds true for people and their employment. It's one thing to become valuable in one particular area. Being valuable in more than one particular area is especially useful. In naming him Person of the Year for 2010, TIME described how Mark Zuckerberg brought together technology and human psychology.

Those who can find unique combinations of value can expect to enjoy the most expansive set of opportunities for upward mobility in the economy of the future.

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