A couple of weeks ago the guest lecturer Albert Bengtson from Apple asked us a question which got me thinking. It was: “What do you think having a job would look like in the future?”
At least in Germany, my generation is known as the “generation internship” due to the need of experience you need, when you want to apply for a new job. In order to meet the job requirements of certain career fields, inexperienced job applicants need to absolve a lot of a internships. This was not always the case and belittles the value of education which certainly generates a problem: If you do not have job experience, you will not get a job. If you do not have a job, it is hard to get experience. Thus there is a need for internships (according to the industry). Doing internships can be fun and rewarding for a short time. But if you are paid little or even not at all, it can be frustrating after a while and lower the attractiveness of actually working for someone else in general.
Furthermore, if you compare the consistency on the job market from two decades ago with today’s standards, it is hard for me to imagine to have one job for the rest of my life. Regardless whether I would like it or not, this scenario seems to be gone forever. A lot of people are thrown out of jobs (certainly also because of the financial crisis a couple of years back) and forced to learn new jobs. Ergo the ones who adapt fastest, will have an advantage. Being able to adapt and coping with new things seems to be a crucial part of being a successful entrepreneur.
Robotics and computers in general are going to automate simple and even difficult tasks to a level where human accord labour is not required anymore. Highly skilled professionals with a broad scope will be the profile of many job descriptions. (Who has not alredy heard of the so called “T-shaped” professional) The needs will shift and being on the forefront of this development instead of longing for the ‘goog old days’ will probably pay off.
Additionally more and more people seem to have the dream of being their own boss. This is what I perceive as the main motivator for entrepreneurs to take the risk and try to exploit an opportunity. Entrepreneurship also enables the entrepreneur to develop a product or service which is produced with own resources and skills. Since the probability for an entrepreneur to be successful is closely connected to their motivation and interest in their product, this work has the potential to be far more rewarding than a random job, carried out for someone else.
Combining all these observations, I believe that some kind of entrepreneurship will be the norm in a few decades from now. Fostering your own skills and knowing how to sell them will be a crucial aspect of work life. Big companies will most certainly still exist but the way people are employed will probably change. After all, regardless of what will come in the future, we will experience a major change.