NEW YORK, May 02, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- If you choose to accept the predictions, job prospects in America are grim due to the rise of artificial intelligence. Experts insist that workers at all skill levels have grave reasons to fear for their careers and economic futures. Fortunately, the history of the world is messy, non-linear, and unpredictable. Even when it falls, humanity seems to fall forward. Projections into the future of jobs are extrapolated from the present, and often miss all the novelty and innovation of how human needs, demands, and new jobs actually evolve.
Dim Outlook Misses Brighter Big Picture
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ sober 10-year jobs outlook calls for declines in manufacturing and retail jobs, and predicts job growth in clean energy installation jobs, low-skill, low-pay elderly home care and personal care jobs, and a limited number of elite tech-related jobs. BLS expects the only growth in retail to come from warehouse jobs fulfilling online orders. The role of technology in drastically changing the nature of work is indisputable, but the news of the death of good jobs is highly exaggerated.
Economists and A.I. gurus fail to account with their models that the world will never run out of problems to solve, or needs and desires to fulfill, and they overlook the fact that A.I. is a utility, a commodity that will become ubiquitous, just like electricity. The good news is that A.I. facilitates the kind of work and deep relationships that are worthy of the unique minds, bodies, emotions, and social skills of human beings. The future of jobs lies in the confluence of technology and the human to produce skilled, caring work.
“A caring jobs revolution is underway, and far from hurting the job prospects of humanity, A.I. will free most people to work using their domain expertise and to be their kinder selves,” says Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute and EIX. “Today, we can barely see the shoots sprouting, but in the next ten years, leaders, managers, workers and entrepreneurs will discover that to be financially successful they will have to develop deep expertise in their chosen craft, like Steve Jobs, and deliver it with the emotional intelligence of Mother Teresa.”
Preparing For The Future Of Work
For the caring jobs revolution to accelerate, employees and entrepreneurs will need to develop and refine new job expertise and emotional intelligence skills. New education sources, credentials, and accreditations are necessary. Already, many professionals, not just brands, are being rated online. Better ratings systems will develop that are fair and accurate, and every worker will have to deliver their work with high levels of both humanity and performance. At a minimum, employees need specialized career learning, driven by daily deep and deliberate practice, measurement, and coaching.
Domain expertise, deep empathy, trustworthiness and generosity unleash the creativity of workers and will be required in every interaction. The new employee and entrepreneur mindsets, skills, and behaviors allow individuals and teams to work better without supervision. Corporate hierarchy, bureaucracy, strict rules, and command-and-control organizational structures will give way to individual self-awareness, self-mastery and self-managed teams. Consequently, companies will operate with fewer layers and much lower overhead costs.
Presented here are examples of how skilled, well-paid jobs are evolving and growing below the radar in three of the largest and most critical industries serving humanity.
The U.S. health care system is broken, and rampant with high costs and poor patient outcomes. Health care employees and patients are treated like robots, and their interactions are treated like transactions. Supply drives demand, resulting in corruption, unnecessary and dangerous procedures, and runaway costs. The complexity and dysfunction are precisely what have given rise to new professions within the system that are geared toward genuine improvement of patient outcomes.
Relationship-based health care work will thrive as the world’s population gets older, wealthier, and demands more empathic and effective care. Soon, robot beds that transform into wheelchairs will become ubiquitous for many elderly patients. Other A.I driven innovations in health care will ensure that the risky physical requirements of health and personal care work will be reduced dramatically. Instead, health care jobs will require patient specialization and mastery of emotional intelligence.
At the leading edge of relationship-based health care is Boston-based Iora Health, a primary care innovator. Iora’s fast-growing business focuses each clinic on just one type of patient population, such as the elderly or children, and empowers staff to master the functional and emotional intelligence skills required for success.
Iora’s business model depends on one critical job, the health coach, a community health worker who is a lay person, not a medical specialist. At Iora, three or four health coaches support each doctor. Coaches are selected for one trait, empathy, and their purpose is to build deep relationships with patients, one-to-one, face-to-face and digitally. The goal is to effect positive change in patients’ mindsets, habits and behaviors in order to help them live happier, more independent lives. Health coaches at Iora earn a starting salary of $45,000 per year, and many earn $60,000 plus benefits. As clinics grow in number, the best coaches become supervisors who earn $70,000 and higher. That's enough for a purposeful, middle-class life.
Iora significantly improves patient outcomes, reduces hospital visits, and does so at dramatically lower system costs. Look for Iora, and its imitators to grow dramatically, creating good, middle-class jobs that improve the lives of people.
It seems that most of our most critical industries are broken. Education at all levels is full of waste, bureaucracy, mismanagement, and failing grades. In the most developmental of all fields, the teachers and support staff are programmed like drones, while our children and young adults sit bored or anxious in crowded Matilda-like classrooms, failing to learn critical functional and emotional intelligence skills required for jobs of the future.
Enter Grand Rapids-based Fusion Academy, an innovative, private, grades 6-12 school. Fusion has proven that it can successfully scale a flexible-schedule, one-to-one teacher-student education system powered by relationship-based learning. Although Fusion is a private company, the results it has achieved in accelerated student advancement, and student and parent satisfaction, are impressive. The future of education may not be one-to-one for everyone, but it will look far more like Fusion’s model, with personalized classes, and a purposeful, humanistic and communal approach that nurtures, coaches and develops the mind, body, and spirit of its students. Online education has a role to play in the learning process, but on its own, it is devoid of the emotional connections and deep, caring relationships that humans crave.
Under a Fusion Academy model, the world will need many more specialized education staff and teachers who are not just efficient, but effective, in helping humans to measurably achieve their full academic and emotional potential. Teaching will be elevated once again to a good middle-class job, and beyond. Likely, there is a role for educational coaches, much in the way the Iora Health coaches support doctors, and earn middle-class wages and benefits.
Personalized education has a bright future, despite the fact that Industrial Age economists, stuck in the factory model of education, fail to see the emerging disruption and its good-jobs-creating engine.
Wellness, Fitness and Beauty
Mental and physical well-being are rapidly-growing industries in the U.S. today. Whether it is at the yoga class, the meditation room, the hair salon, the spa, the fitness studio, or the make-up counter, Americans across all generations are spending more of their money on personal services, even if it means throttling back on spending in other categories.
The wellness industry is full of innovative companies and freelancers, but the current outlook for employment is dour. Economists forecast that most job growth in the wellness category will be low-skill jobs paying in the neighborhood of $25,000 per year, but the reality is hardly as bleak.
One of the fastest growing innovators in the wellness category is SoulCycle, which has transformed stationary cycling classes into a fitness/entertainment culture, and an interactive group luxury experience. At the heart of the SoulCycle business model are the SoulCycle instructors, experts at cycling, and, at their best, emotionally intelligent leaders who engage the participants in an exhilarating 45-minute regimen that is also good for their souls. Instructors earn an average of $65,000 in salary, plus benefits, as well as tips and gifts from students. Outsiders may think it’s all about being a cool, superstar DJ cyclist jock, but individual student reviews consistently mention how kind, caring, and inspirational the instructors are with their students.
The future of wellness, fitness and beauty lies in local skilled specialists, working for a brand, or independently, who build caring and lasting relationships with their clients. They earn good compensation by delivering great experiences, and they grow their business through referrals and reviews. Top-performing wellness professionals now visit homes, prove their expertise, establish relationships, and make more than $75,000 with tips. Speaking of home services, Luxury Institute has heard of many superstar hair stylists and coloring experts who used to work at top salons for very little compensation now earning six-figure incomes from fees and tips after launching out on their own in affluent suburbs. Many even sell specialized products to their clients.
Golden Era of Personalization
What about the death of retail? Stores will always exist, although commodity products will gravitate to online and delivery. The stores that sell high-value products must become deeply relationship-driven and experiential, not just by redesigning the venues, and not just by providing coffee, or champagne. Personal shoppers and stylists will become the norm, with deep expertise on products and trends, and even deeper expertise on each of their clients.
Many top-performing sales associates at top monoline luxury brands say that they would love to become independent and style their clients with goods from multiple brands. The independent personal stylist and personal shopper industry is ripe for development in the next ten years with many professionals earning six figure incomes. The most successful ones will focus on a specific type of client, and will be experts in emotional intelligence. The technology is already available to execute such a model, but unlike the great human beings who engage in the profession, the tech and A.I. portion will be a cheap and accessible commodity.
Milton Pedraza, Luxury Institute and EIX CEO
Milton Pedraza is the CEO of the Luxury Institute and EIX. Over the past 15 years, Milton has established the Luxury Institute, first and foremost, as a high-performance client relationship consulting firm while serving more than 1,000 luxury and premium goods and services brands across dozens of categories. The Luxcelerate System, which applies the mastery of emotional intelligence skills in building client relationships, has helped dozens of brands to significantly improve client data collection, conversion, retention and referral rates. The Luxury Institute has conducted more qualitative and quantitative research with affluent consumers than any other entity in the world.
Milton advises and coaches luxury CEOs and advises and serves on the boards of top-tier luxury and premium brands, as well as luxury and premium startups. He is a sought after speaker worldwide for his practical, innovative and humanistic insights and recommendations on luxury and high performance, and is the most quoted global luxury industry expert in leading media and publications.
Milton is also an authority on customer relationship management, artificial intelligence technologies, predictive and consumer behavior analytics, and Big Data. Prior to founding the Luxury Institute, his successful career at Fortune 100 companies included executive roles at Altria, PepsiCo, Colgate, Citigroup and Wyndham Worldwide. Milton is a frequent guest speaker at Columbia University and has presented at Harvard Business School. He has been recognized as a top Latin Entrepreneur by Stanford Business School.
Milton was born in Colombia, raised in the United States, and has lived in several countries. He has conducted business in more than 100 countries, and speaks several languages.