A few days ago Remitlyan international money transfer platform whose mission - according to its website - is to support migrants in fulfilling their promises of a better life for the families they leave behind, released an article on the dream jobs - or those trades of the future.
To provide this listing they used information from online searches - "how to become a ..." - and thus determined what people "want". I have serious doubts about the quality of the result and what it means, but that is precisely why I come to this article and the conclusions in it.
The most visible and most shared result in social networks is a beautiful map which represents for each country, the most desired profession or trade. For them, if many people search for "how to become a doctor" on the Internet, that means for the authors, that is the dream job.
What strikes me most about this result is what it represents for the professions of the future. That is why I share my thoughts with you, and I anticipate: how is it possible that "influencers" or "youtubers" are dream jobs? Will our lawyers, architects, doctors and teachers cease to exist? Certainly not.
Dream jobs and trades of the future
While many people dream of becoming astronauts or race car drivers throughout their lives, the truth is that most do not invest the time and energy required to achieve it.
Many dreams are just that, dreams. Do you, who are reading this article, practice the profession or trade you studied? Did you dream of the trade, position or profession you are doing today?
In my opinion, if you are happy today with what you do it doesn't matter if you dreamed about it or not. Sometimes, some people dream about something and prove with dedication and effort that some dreams can be achieved. For others life is more a process of discovery.
In a famous video, Steve Jobs talks about the concept of connecting the dots. If you haven't seen the video, you should watch it. If you have seen it or don't care to watch it, in a nutshell, it talks about how life is finding its way and how when you look back everything seems to connect. Also, in a wonderful book called "The Element" by Ken Robinson, he talks about the impact of being passionate about what we do and that what may seem silly to some is a successful destiny to others.
Dreaming about something impacts the decisions we make day to day. We probably don't practice what we dreamed of or how we dreamed of it, but it was dreaming about it that led us to make some decisions - such as what to study, what friends to have, what articles to read or what courses to complete.
Our dreams evolve with us
I don't want to digress too much, but I want to clarify: there is nothing wrong with dreaming of being an astronaut. But to believe that our childhood dream doesn't change with us is naive and foolish. The same applies to dreams from 2 or 3 years ago. Some of us have lived through situations that change us - and not just physically, they change our values or our outlook on life.
So, I don't think a dream job is static. Maybe, becoming a baker shows you that your true passion is making pizza, or birthday cakes. And your dream, it evolves with you.
List of dream jobs
Remitly's work presents a list of 20 dream professions or trades that are trending and will be trending in the near future.
|Position||Dream job (or most wanted)|
|6||Actor / Actress|
|8||Programmer / programmer|
|18||Expert in law / expert (lawyer)|
From the list, the top 10, I highlight that the idea to be programmers has gone from being something for the few - and often associated with "nerdy" things - to a profession that offers stability and quality to those who practice it (among whom I include myself).
I admit that "influencers", "YouTubers" and "Bloggers" come off my conservative list and make me uncomfortable. I see them as a means and not an end. But let's take it one step at a time.
What those not on the list say
I repeat, this list is not the result of an obvious scientific study and seems to correspond to simple analysis. I am struck by the fact that the basic things we humans need to live do not appear or are not representative. If this is the list of dream jobs that impacts - whether we like it or not - the trades of the future, I am concerned that I do not see trades related to:
- the food industry - cultivation, production and processing
- construction - housing, offices, civil works such as harbors or roads
- trade - freight forwarding, port handling and negotiations
- care for the environment
How will we build the cities of the future? what will we consume to survive? if global welfare is increasing, how will we distribute it? nobody wants to be a politician anymore? - I admit that this last profession generates more repudiation than love in the younger generations who have seen how "the leadership contract" has been broken (another book to read, "Leaders eat at the end" by Simon Sinek).
We are so used to certain privileges that we forget what it takes to maintain them. Could we live in a world without pilots? Yes. But could we live in a world without farmers and peasants? We certainly could not. Or we would all have to learn the trade of growing our own food.
I am a systems and computer engineer by profession, I have been a university professor for more than 20 years and I am excited to see "programmers" y "teachers and professors"on the list. I admit that the listing also brings nice surprises.
Desired occupations by country
One of the most interesting things of the analysis made by Remitly, is an infographic of trades or professions by country. This is the graphic that invaded some social networks a few days ago.
The predominance of two colors, or in other words two trades, in Spanish-speaking countries is obvious. The light blue color (light blue for color connoisseurs) and a sort of light orange color (which when I was a child we called skin color, and of course none of us had that "skin color"). Both colors represent a trade: YouTuber and Influencer in their respective order.
Although the marked trend in Spanish-speaking countries seems coincidental, I would like to remind you that I do not have access to the sources and cannot validate whether or not this is a problem in the data.
In short, Hispanic Americans and Spaniards dream of being Influencers, Bloggers and YouTubers. We could generalize these professions as "content generators" and include Writers, but do you think they are the same or comparable?
Jobs, money and happiness
Here's where my hypothesis comes in: in a world in crisis, in countries where the social mobility If a profession is very limited, or where there are few job opportunities, people do not think of a dream occupation, but rather the one that "apparently makes the most money". Professions as old as medicine and law (lawyers) have historically been associated with economic well-being. Do you know anyone who studied a profession because their family or friends told them that it "made money"? It is not a recent issue.
Something I immediately think of when differentiating between "dream job" and "well-paid job" is the concept of Ikigai. Ikigai is a Japanese concept without literal translation that can be understood as "reason for living" or "reason for being or existing". Iki which is life and kai which is the realization of what one hopes for. And if we are going to talk about the trades of the future, we should discuss how we choose or desire a trade.
The concept is associated with some self-knowledge exercises designed to discover your motive, passion or vocation. Let's not get into the discussion of whether they mean the same thing or not, but here is a video of a lecture I gave a few years ago on the subject: Agile Thinking to redesign our business in times of crisis - YouTube.
Skills, tastes, needs and remuneration
The ikigai is achieved when you manage to harmoniously unify what you love, what the world needs, what you are good at, and what others are willing to pay you for.
This clearly differentiates some things:
- Things that someone would pay you for - they depend on the context, the market, i.e. supply and demand.
- Things you're good at - no explanation, like it or not, you do well.
- Things you are passionate about
- Things that make you feel that you are linked to a higher purpose
Not all categories are the same, and for many of us, these are things that change over time. When you are a teenager you want some things and stand out for others, when you are older, surely you have other virtues, qualities and some remain.
So is the market. What may be a great business today - you get paid well for doing it, may not be in the future.
Quick and easy money: the trades of the future
Here comes my harshest criticism of those who take pride in the results of the analysis - and I say this because I have seen several videos congratulating countries that "are very clear" about what to do in the future. If you chase money all your life, you will reach the end of your days chasing an unattainable. I know more than one person who can only talk about money, the money they made in one business, the money others made or lost in another business. It is sad to see how their life is measuring how much money there is here or there or how much money others have. It is never enough.
When I think about the list of professions, several catch my attention: influencer, YouTuber and Blogger. If that's my dream job it's sad. It's sad to think that someone's goal could be "influencer". The means becomes the end.
Purpose does not matter
It's not that it's bad to be an influencer, youtuber or blogger. The problem is that, it seems, purpose doesn't matter. I can't imagine these professions without having found my center or focus - my purpose. This is a real problem and what we see is a search for what makes money - and not necessarily what I want to do with my life.
I would like to clarify the problem I am highlighting with an example of my own.
I have been teaching at universities and some business schools for 20 years now. It was something I did not plan to do, but apparently I am good at it and my students enjoy my classes as well as learning. Even some of my former students are now friends or close colleagues.
Could I be a teacher of any subject? Do you think I would enjoy teaching any subject to anyone, just because I enjoy teaching?
If I am passionate about teaching, does that mean I can teach any subject? Have you ever had a teacher who had no idea what she was talking about and brought no experience or anecdotes to her teaching? Have you never had a theoretical teacher who had no idea what she was teaching, but repeated with speed and perfection what she read in her support material?
Influencing for money, not for conviction
This is where "YouTuber", "Influencer" or "blogger" makes sense. While not every influencer or youtuber is successful, we only follow those who are we see those who are famous - and therefore make the most money.
We like to study and emulate success stories, but we do not know how many people are not. The same goes for "entrepreneurs". We like to study Elon Musk and Steve Jobs, but we ignore or deny the reality that small and medium-sized companies are the ones that move the world, provide jobs and distribute wealth.
So we don't think about doing what we love, we think about being millionaires. And in that sense, being an influencer is the goal. Little effort (so they think) and a lot of fame. And we create a new lost generation of those who think that knowledge is unnecessary. We stop using our brains and, we become more stupid. And this is no joke.
The real jobs of the future
I am a blogger. Writing helps me to focus my ideas, to build my future projects and helps me to establish priorities. Many times writing is an exercise in introspection, at other times it helps me to digest or understand concepts.
But that's not what I do. And I wouldn't say that my occupation - my main one - is blogging. For me, it's a channel to express my ideas.
The jobs of the future should not be those that only make money and seem easy. We should choose what we are passionate about, what helps us stay focused and in flow.
Happiness, some say, should not be confused with joy - momentary - but with the construction of satisfying lives where, as the Ikigai states, converge the things you like, the things you are good at, something that gives you economic well-being and, if possible, transforms the world (even a little bit).
In my case, it is educating, but I don't make a living from it because I can support and facilitate in other spaces in my work. But it is the sum of the things I do, inside and outside of "what I get paid for", that gives meaning to my life.
If that, produces too much or too little well-being, I'm grateful for it. If it's too little, I try to make up for it with something different - and surely temporary, and maybe that's where "looking online" for how to become a blogger, influencer, tontuber or tontoker, makes sense. I want to believe that the world is more than its social networks.