Commentary: I have pursued many of the worst jobs in America
I’m always keeping an eye out for my next career and another opportunity to “reinvent” myself, which is what they teach you in those outplacement training classes.
My goal is to become a well-rounded, multi-dimensional, all-purpose model employee for the 21st century workplace.
At a time when everyone over 50 is struggling to find a job, you need to master new skills to be marketable, which is why I’m training to practice gastroenterology, psychotherapy and origami, in addition to making caramel macchiato double lattes mucho grande.
Many careers in a lifetime
Since 30% of Baby Boomers expect to keep working until they’re 80, the average person will have about six or seven careers in a lifetime and still struggle to pay the bills.
I already have a full-bodied résumé that includes my years as a teacher, bricklayer, laborer, factory worker, reporter, editor, PR guru, roofer and nuclear physicist — well, not nuclear physicist, but everyone pads their resumes so it sounded like a good thing to add.
Reinventing ourselves is a necessary social evil, although a more appropriate term might be “re-treading ourselves” or “re-purposing ourselves” or “retrofitting ourselves.”
Finding a ‘new direction’
My friend Les’ daughter recently asked him if he was ready to take a “new direction” in his career, and he said yes — right to the backyard.
Unlike Les, I want to continue going in new directions and widen my horizons, so I was horrified to read a story that listed the 10 careers to avoid. Sad to say, some of them were careers I wanted to pursue.
Actually, they were careers I have pursued, and they were careers technology is killing, to the detriment of America.
Fisher Price journalists and doctors
One of the obsolete careers is newspaper reporter, according to Kiplinger. As you know, we no longer need professional newspaper reporters because there are many “citizen journalists” and vigilante bloggers roaming the streets and cyberspace, who report news for free with their smart phones and Fisher Price walkie-talkies.
In fact, “citizen careers” have been so successful that the medical profession is considering using them to control costs by enlisting “citizen cosmetic surgeons,” “citizen gynecologists” and “citizen psychiatrists.” You can be the first one on your block to practice medicine for free without going to medical school.
This trend will also help the healthcare industry deal with the severe shortage of physicians and bring student debt under control. All you need is prescription pad and a Fisher Price stethoscope and you can report for duty.
Outsourcing and executive bonuses
I was upset to learn that “10 of the worst jobs for the future” include floral designer (in a bad economy, nobody buys flowers) and jeweler (their work is being shipped overseas, where most jobs are going to help lower the unemployment rate in China). Outsourcing, as you know, is saving U.S companies billions of dollars that they can re-invest in executive bonus plans.
A media company where I previously worked even considered outsourcing the editing of the newspapers. They had already shipped out the customer service center, and turned the human resources department into a 1-800 number. Is it any wonder there’s no job growth in America?
Customer service vs. automated voice
Other jobs that have no future include post office clerk, switchboard operator/call receptionist, and sewing machine operator. This explains why America has so many problems and such lousy customer service.
The next time you have to call your bank about a stolen debit card, wouldn’t you like to hear an “operator/call receptionist” answer the phone instead of an automated voice that wants you to press one, two or three?
And what about all those high-priced clothes made in China? If you’re buying a luxury label, do you want it to say “Made in China”? Keep the sewing machine operators in the U.S.A.
Maybe we need less reinventing and more common sense.
Joe Pisani can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.