I am a huge fan of hiring someone to teach me a skill. I learn a lot faster if someone watches me do it and tells me what I’m doing wrong. So, for example, I’ve had a professional show me how to do street photography (thanks, James), I’ve had someone show me how to create tablescapes (thanks, Maria), and I’ve had someone show me how to read specific motivators of someone who gambles (thanks, jackpotcitycasino.com).
Whenever I am not happy with how something turns out, the kids say, “You can hire someone to teach you!” I used to think it was a sign that they’d grow up to be slovenly. But in fact, I think they are growing up to understand that you learn fastest by hiring an expert.
My kids have also gotten a sneak peek at the future job market because I hire so many people who work for themselves doing service-oriented work. In the next decade the service economy will dominate job offerings with a surprising twist:
The workforce is increasingly joining the gig economy, which means everyone works for themselves, and their work is temporary. The drive toward the gig economy is the inflexibility of corporate life. Companies keep talking about creating flexible jobs, but the truth is that someone who wants flexibility cannot compete with someone who can work long, steady hours at the office.
Most jobs in the future will be service-oriented in some way. For example, Fivecast Financial (temporary CFOs) and Countsy (on-demand accountants) rely on people with a service-focused attitude so they give the customer what they want and help the client t0 feel secure relying on an outsider.
The service economy is innovative and it will change how people manage their lives. The on-demand startup world enables people to outsource task-oriented adulting (shopping, laundry, parking, etc.). The online sales industry will shift to a more people-focused high-touch form of selling. HelloSells, for example, published data about how it’s much easier to close a sale if the potential customers can talk to a real person right away.
Beleaguered democratic candidate Andrew Yang has done one thing very well: raising awareness about robots taking over manufacturing. The point he makes is that we need to retrain people who will lose their jobs. But for kids, Yang points out the bright shiny newness of a career in manufacturing.
The New York Times has a feature story about the emergence of robotics classes in the high school curriculum. The takeaway for homeschool parents is to give manufacturing a chance. As one of the students says, “All the big companies that produce anything now have robots.”
New York magazine points out that what robots really do is give us more leisure time. We know from many polls that parents would like to work at jobs that take less time so they can spend more time parenting. These reports are true for both men and women.
So the gig economy will provide the flexible jobs parents have been asking for. And robotic manufacturing will create job-sharing that has eluded the workforce until now because people will share jobs with a robot. And these changes will make time for parents to both support their family and take care of children.
What does this mean for homeschoolers? Stop encouraging your kids to think about jobs as all-consuming. Stop talking about parenting with regret or disdain, or worse, like you’re too good for it. Stop telling kids that the purpose of education is to get a job. Most kids will not have a huge impact personally. Most kids will not be rule-breakers that disrupt the world around them. Most kids will grow up and take care of children for about 50% of their time. Because there won’t be a lot of full-time jobs.
So consider treating your job as a parent like it is fulfilling, meaningful, and a logical place for a smart, educated person to land. Because that’s where your kid is headed, whether you respect parenting as a job or not.