Say hi to the co-worker of the future.
Come with me on the mental journey my mind took earlier this week.
First, the following Tweet caught my attention.
I love the idea of a coffee-making robot. Because yes, yes, I am that useless first thing in the morning. Honestly, if I wanted all the bells and whistles, my coffee-making robot would sense when I started to stir and automatically begin to do its thing. My imagination has no bounds when it comes to tools and toys that could make my life easier.
Later that day, an article from Vice crossed my reading path. The headline? “Starbucks Baristas Are Sick of Your Ridiculous Custom Orders. Your “borderline undrinkable” drinks can have a knock-on effect for the entire store, creating longer waits and wasting ingredients.”
TikTok + Starbucks apparently is not a match made in heaven.
Hmm….coffee. I want one. Except for a small problem, I’m on my first flight in over a year and a half, and I will not, I repeat not, drink the coffee on a plane. Have you read the articles about planes’ water tanks? Ugh.
But I digress….back to my day of coffee + robots.
Later that day, I took my daily hike through the hills / catch up on my podcast listening adventure. And wouldn’t you know, this week’s Freakonomics Radio show – “How to Stop Worrying and Love the Robot Apocalypse.”
I learned all about this thing called Co-Bots – Robots designed to augment a human. Imagine, for example, nurses and home carers had cobots to help lift and turn patients. I am 100% sure I couldn’t lift my husband by myself, but with a cobot, probably.
Honestly, I should have known technology like this was coming. I sat in the audience at TED 2018. I listened to Hugh Herr talk about NeuroEmbodiedDesign, where “In this design process, the designer designs human flesh and bone, the biological body itself, along with synthetics to enhance the bidirectional communication between the nervous system and the built world.” Imagine for just a second you could choose to have wings, wings that worked. Serendipitously I found myself sitting next to Hugh at lunch right after his talk. He has SO many brilliant ideas; it was fascinating and also slightly terrifying.
And I come back to today and a Tweet from Ana Lorena Fabrega – “Roughly ⅔ of today’s students will end up doing work that hasn’t been invented yet.”
So what does this all have to do with the Future You? So So Much. Here are a few.
1. We are all apprentices of the jobs of the Future. Are you continuing to educate yourself? I spend a minimum of 30 mins every single day reading, listening, and learning about emerging trends, technologies, and ideas. Why? Because if I want to play with the toys of the Future, I need to know how they work.
2. Want to know what your boss, your colleagues, your customers really value? Your smart ideas and how you bring those smart ideas to life. The Co-bots and robots are going to do the repeatable, scalable tasks. What do we need you for? Your ability to hold a bunch of complex ideas in your head and create something new with them we never imagined before. So are you talking about what you’ve done or helped people understand how you think? Can you even explain how you think?
Here’s a final idea for you. Is it possible you could invent a job just for you? One that uniquely taps into that brilliant intersection between what you are great at doing, what you find interesting, and what others value? I have multiple times. I also know lots of other people who have. How would that job description read?
I challenge you to write a job description for the Future You. Better yet, send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org; I’d love to read them. Maybe I’ll have some new ideas, inspired by you, while my robot makes my coffee.