We should all be watching this space as every job will change in the next five years. And which ones will disappear may be up to you.
Firstly, consider the employment landscape left after COVID-19 and the final hooray of Omicron. The sectors most impacted by the pandemic, such as hospitality, tourism, events, retail and travel, will significantly change in job profiles.
In fact, they already have. Jobs were lost and the industries decimated. Job losses were instantaneous and remote work wasn’t an option. For those who lost their jobs, the pivot to other industries had to happen. The pain from the workforce dislocation will remain for years to come and roles will be reconfigured as the only way to cope.
If eating out, even when it is fine dining, expect to order online before arrival. Similar to flying overseas and booking meals ahead of time. Staff shortages in hospitality and the increased food and logistics costs may see this as our reality soon. It may not be fine dining as we used to know it, but how fine is the experience if there is not enough staff to take your order? In five years, we will consider waitstaff a long-lost indulgence of days gone by.
“Jobs and careers that no longer meet employee expectations are being rejected.”
And what of those jobs likely to disappear due to the changing mindset of the collective. COVID-19 and especially the Delta and Omicron experience brought forth ‘pandemic epiphanies‘, causing people to push pause on the work treadmill and reconsider what is important. The abundance of job vacancies means ample choice to change jobs and careers. The chronic skills shortage means transferable skills are high coin, allowing, like never before, the transition to different jobs, industries and careers – the ‘Great Reshuffle‘ as it has been termed.
If that wasn’t enough, the ‘anti-work’ movement has also quickly risen to the surface, giving credence to the idea of a work-free life. This, in conjunction with the reshuffle, leaves our workforce with a dire scarcity of skills, and our jobs and professions languishing.
Jobs and careers that no longer meet employee expectations are being rejected. Without the workforce to fill these gaps, these jobs will likely disappear in the next five years. The teaching profession epitomises this scenario. Discontent and stress levels have been building for some time; however, remote learning through COVID-19 has concomitantly been the tipping point and sliding doors moment.
Schools are facing an unprecedented staffing crisis and likely to “run out of teachers in the next five years”. In America, it’s no different, with one in four teachers considering leaving their job by the end of the last academic year. Teachers opting out of their profession will force a shift in how teaching is defined. The higher education market was valued at US$ 13.7 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach US$64.2 billion by 2028. Jobs disappearing are often associated with a dying market. This is not the case for teachers and the education sector.
And it is not just the teaching profession. The world is suffering from a skills shortage, with 54 per cent of companies globally reporting talent shortages – the highest in over a decade. To survive, businesses will do their own reshuffle. Of course, roles that can be automated are at the highest risk. By 2025, an estimated 85 million jobs may be displaced by a shift in the division of labour from humans to machines.
Industries that could shrink
Whilst automation is typically at lower skill levels, such as fast-food workers, administration, and hospitality, it’s not exclusive to these areas. Finance-related roles, such as financial advisers and accountants, are already moving to online services. Dare I say, any professional services businesses whose job is to provide advice. Even Google has stepped in at a basic level for medical information and guidance.
We have robotic-assisted surgery, allowing doctors to perform complex procedures with more precision. The doctor’s role has changed, and the skill set enhanced. The same can be said for all health professionals. A post-pandemic world will welcome a different set of behaviour, the roots of which are already established. What can be done without contact will continue to dominate.
History teaches, after every crisis or disruption, the outgrown and outdated will be replaced with something better, current, and more useful. Some jobs will disappear. With the rate of technology, that is a given. A great majority will reinvent themselves and transform with you at the driver’s seat.
Roxanne Calder, author of Employable: 7 Attributes to Assuring Your Working Future, is the Founder and Managing Director of EST10, one of Sydney’s most successful administration recruitment agencies. Calder is passionate about uncovering people’s potential and watching their careers soar.