Life is slowly settling into a new normal in a post-pandemic world. However, a mistake that is often quoted is how quickly can we return to normal. Politicians or often business leaders will state something that envisions a return to how life was before the pandemic. This is often at the detriment of reality around them. It is clear the public seems to want to transition into a new economy. I wrote more in detail about it in my previous entry here.
I can’t see a return to how our economy or life really worked prior to the pandemic. We’ve been doing this for far too long. This was something I predicted back at the start of the pandemic. We will be forced to change simply due to our habits becoming ingrained as this dragged out. We are finally starting to see the outcome of that reality. The great resignation which I wrote about last entry, is simply the denial of larger-scale businesses to what is going on.
This makes me ponder how the future will look. It’s time we look at automation not as a dirty word, but as the inevitability of progress. Too often, naysayers decry automation as the elimination of jobs. I’d argue that those jobs were always precarious. No job is guaranteed for life. Right now automation is coming for those repetitive jobs like cashiers. Walmart has expanded it’s in store cashier system to include more self check out kiosks. Online purchasing is more and more prevalent as a means to order items from essentially all major retailers.
Technology doesn’t stop. In our current climate of workers shifting away from traditional employment as part of the COVID-19 recovery, a gap is opening. Automation may provide an opportunity for employers to fill gaps in their labour force. While some positions may appear to be automation proof, I highly doubt that to be the case. It’s just a matter of technology to catch up with the job description.
In the meantime, we have more and more people seeking to re-educate or re-engage with the economy in a more robust and meaningful way. What this will mean for the idea of a job? It may lead to an entire reimagining of what a career will mean. With humans being freer to engage in pursuits that they are passionate about or take the time to learn new ones. And all those jobs that we learned are vital to the economy? Well, the machines can have them.