International Writers Magazine- The Future of Careers in 2009
Choices in '09
career choices seem to be going out of the window. We are in that
transition moment - between the old and the new. Certainties are
fragile, some things gone already. Want to work for the LA
Times? Chicago Tribune? New York Times? Maybe you do, but
will they be there in two or three years? Things are moving fast,
the recession is just speeding the change, not the cause of it.
Masters of the Universe borrowed fantasitc sums to control everything
and now they can't pay and treasured insitutions will fold under
the weight of greedy men's debts. But even before they took the
money and ran - had they really thought about it - print is dying
- high street retail too and as they go, all else will change
too- every profession will be transformed by the web and no one
is safe. No one.
Unless you already
TV is affected too. In the UK Channel 4 and Channel 5 who will probably
have to merge to stay afloat. You only have to look at the Media section
in The Guardian to realise that there are few jobs being advertised
and that was once once a very fat section. It's still fat on-line but
for how long? Heres something to chew on: not only are national
newspapers at risk in this recession, but those cash cow regional and
local papers are doomed as well, as Google consumes everything in its
Its no use thinking they are coming back after all is said and
done either. A friend called tonight and said last week you could probably
buy Saab for a dollar but now you can throw in Jaguar, Landrover,
Chrysler, Volvo, as well. Same dollar. You want it in instalments?
Now even in Japan they are beginning to realise 2009 will be a disaster
for the whole economy. OK its serious, the world economy
is falling off a cliff. As mentioned in my December
editorial I have done my bit for the economy and borrowed money
for a new car. But this may not be my most sensible decision. I could
have waited a couple of months and bought the whole of Fiat for the
same price, maybe get Honda thrown in as well.
I can think of some companies that could do with hiring people. My bank
for example. You
tried calling your bank recently? So OK a lot of people in India or
wherever have jobs answering telephones but oddly enough I want to speak
to a human in person. I think a bank that offers real human service
will be a winner after the recession, but perhaps I am too old fashioned.
Id like to speak in person to my cellphone provider, energy supplier
too. In fact Id like to junk almost ALL of the improvements
these big companies have made in getting rid of the customer interface
and replacing them with call centres. Sure it has made executives rich,
but it hasnt made life easier or better. Press 4 and hold for
ten hours if you think it has.
A student asked me what jobs will go in this recession. Im still
thinking about it. It's not just the recession is it. That's too easy.
This is all about the digital revolution. This is much like when horses
were replaced at the beginning of the last century and then came phones,
radio, mass transit - all of human life was transformed, quickly. But
now it is changing again and the recession is just going to speed it
all up. We may not like the final result. We may hate it, in fact. What
will it look like? Seen the pictures of rioting in Greece lately? Imagine
the whole western world like that. It could happen.
You can see the
writing on the wall for publishing already, whether news, magazines,
non-fiction and even fiction judging from how little my students actually
read. So yes, publishing, journalism, editing, design are all going
to be squeezed. Kit, our former publisher will attest to that, so many
of her friends are out of job as magazines close one after another.
What about advertising? They are putting a brave face on it, but you
know they have to be hurting and expect a big hiring freeze in New York,
L.A. and London for 2009. Companies still have to advertise but maybe
not in print, maybe not on TV, maybe just on Facebook or Google,
it might target their market more specifically. Personally I hate seeing
ads on-line but kids dont mind, in fact seem to like it.
Fashion? Charity shops are going to be so cool in 09. I wonder
if fashion will survive. Everyone needs a party dress apparently but
only from Primark I should think. So China surviving is a sure
bet. I still buy at Gap - but only cause I hate shopping.
It seems I bought at least ten striped sweaters last year. Madness.
Another clue? I got a letter from Bosch telling me the guarantee
had run out on my fridge and washer.They want over a £100 per
item to continue cover. But its Bosch; I bought them cause they
will last. If they dont Ill buy new, its cheaper.
So repairmen are at risk too.
Come to think of it my new Fiat Bravo only needs servicing every 18,000
miles, the car mechanics have priced themselves out of jobs at £75
an hour. Soon be cheaper to buy new than secondhand.
What career would you tell your kids or students to go for? Lawyer?
Bet that too goes on-line very soon. After all we have moneysupermarket.com,
why not lawyers competing for your business? Cheapest one gets to defend
you in court or sue Monsanto for just about everything they do. No win
Photographer? I dont think so. Digital cameras have killed the
profession and the mobile phone will kill them in turn. In fact the
mobile phone will be your bank, your friend, your camera, video recorder,
health monitor, entertainer, gamer, personal tracker
. No end of
Sports journalist? You think? Its all going onto the phone as
well. Instant reports by cheap bloggers supported by Google.
No one cares about good writing anyway so
TV? On your phone with shorter programmes for the three minute attention
span generation. Like porn, shopping, everything. Lose it and your whole
life goes with it.
Bookstores already dying.
Supermarket check out girls scan your own will soon replace all.
It's already in Tesco.
Retail? I dont think so buddy.
Teacher? - They are so keen to get you put your lectures on-line so
students dont actually have to come to class, they will soon realise
they dont need buildings, or Universities or Colleges or even
school or Teachers. Stay home, watch the computer and deal with your
obesity problem pal. So no, long term, teaching is a dead end too.
What the hell is a career choice? What does this 21st Century need?
I'm coming up with a list.
Carer the population is ageing fast. (But wait - the Japanese
are investing billions into robots that can care for the old and most
likely have more empathy than the people we hired to look after my mom
Health and Safety Nazi
Bureaucrat (You think wed ever outsouce them you are an
Thief (A career op that requires agility and cunning and the police
almost never catch any being too interested in catching people driving
Druglord (Big turnover short life - hot chicks much bling)
Euthanasia Guidance Councillor *I'm tipping this for a huge growth industry.
Food Tech someone has to grow some food and spray the chemicals
to make it last.
That pretty much takes care of everything I think.
Yep. Welcome to the Recession
North Jan 1st 2009
Tide by Sam North
'Extraordinary novel about a child's psychic
Lulu Press - ISBN: 978-1-4092-0354-4
Review: 'An engaging, unusual and
completely engrossing read'
- Beverly Birch author of 'Rift'
to live with his spooky Grandma by the river in Greenwich, Oliver
(12) discovers a whole world of disturbed people who are probably
even crazier than the ones he left behind. When he finds a dog with
its throat cut on the beach, everything changes.
range 12-16 and all adults
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