In 5 years… Work

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Part 3 of my little mini-series about the subtle (or not-so-subtle) shifts and changes of our lives in a digitized world. Disclaimer, disclaimer, disclaimer:

This isn’t about looking into the future, either, really. Instead it’s more to look back in five or so years to get an idea about our perception at the time, and either say “Hah! Told you so!” or “Ewww, this really turned out different, eh?”.

  1. Multiplayer games will be an essential selection of the application process
    As you learn key skills like hand-eye coordination, problem-solving and team work, a standard question when applying for a job will be: “Which games have you played?”. (Says Greg Niemeyer, and he’s right.)
  2. Where you live won’t matter as much as when you can be online.
    As online work and collaboration become the norm, the time zone and your circadian will be much more important than the actual geographical location. (Cory Doctorow explores this idea in detail in his novel Eastern Standard Tribes.)
  3. Part of our job perks will be paid in online/in-game currency and goods.
    Be it Linden-Dollars or WoW items: Whatever kind of online currency we choose, we will get. With the borders between online and offline life blurring, this will not be a bad deal but just a more flexible way of getting a reward.
  4. We will spend a significant part of our day just sorting information.
    Yes, even more so than today.
  5. We will work in a whole set of different jobs and engagements at any time.
    Instead of working in one so-called bread job, we will be engaged in a whole set of freelance, semi-dependent and employment relationships as well as issue- or interest-based volunteer engagements. Besides getting paid for what we like to do and working for what we think is important, we’ll permanently juggle tasks and engagements. This is both curse and blessing of the information age.

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