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By David Harder on February, 5, 2016

How Passing Fads are Turning the World of Work Upside Down

An extensive recent study called Impacts of Future Technology at the Oxford Martin School indicates that over half of all jobs in the US will be eliminated due to technology within the next 20 years. For those of us who view change as a bad thing, it will be a bad thing. For those of us who’ve learned how to change and pursue growth, this will be an exciting world indeed.

The art of changing ourselves is learnable. I know this is true because I have personally witnessed thousands of our participants do just that. When I began Inspired Work, I had no idea that our curriculum would eventually turn into a model for personal change. When we began in 1990, people were dealing with the loss of “jobs for life.” Now, the average graduates from college will change their careers four to six times.

The key is to not only change, but to change our lives for the better.

All of us have the ability to use cynicism to stall change and many times, we look at the beginning of a tidal wave as yet another “fad.” At the very time when we ought to be transforming and redefining ourselves the fad moves the game so far ahead of us that we never catch up.

Many of you have read my example of truck drivers, the number one job for men in America. Perhaps it would be valuable to replace your profession title for truck drivers and walk through the example.

Daimler board member Wolfgang Bernard recently predicted the use of such trucks are only, “two, three years away.”

Let’s extend the technology to cars. Google, Apple, Mercedes, General Motors and Toyota, to name a few, are investing billions in the scramble towards driverless cars. Taxi and Uber drivers would do well to start the reinvention process now.

These changes will impact other sectors of work with equal force. The Brookings Institute predicts that a driverless fleet obeying the letter of the law will take billions out of city and state revenue streams. In 2013, smartphone operated parking meters led to a $6 million dollar loss in Washington, D.C.

A predominantly driverless future will reduce the automobile insurance industry by over 60%. As the use of driverless cars grow, Brookings predicts that sharing these cars will lead to an equally big drop in the manufacture of new autos.

Our political candidates pander to an unsettled population by promising to bring back jobs but history has never indicated they are able to deliver that with the exception of building infrastructure for the country or for war. Technology marches forward.

But this is not doom and gloom. It is a call to turn growth into good news for all of us. That is a choice. The change around us offers opportunities to rebel against work that is monotonous, stifling and soul deadening. Never has there been a better time to trade-in work within monolithic and crumbling environments for the nimbleness and excitement of entrepreneurship. Never has there been a better time to partner up with the very people we would prefer to work with. For those of us who choose to look the other way, the message will become louder and louder!

Getting there requires a change of mind and heart.

Rather than railing against change, it is time for all of us to exploit it. When I began to work in my early 20’s, I sat in an ugly cubicle in an environment filled with cigarette smoke. Today, I work out of a home overlooking the Pacific Ocean. My colleagues and I Skype, meet as needed and live fulfilling lives. We love and respect each other.

When I began to work, I did it to survive. I was frightened of my own shadow. I found little meaning in the work itself other than “making a living.” Today, over 40,000 changed lives have given me a life unlike anything I could of dreamt up.

But, it is within those lives that I know anyone can change. Because they did. Anyone can define and find the life he or she is meant to lead. For much of the world, it is time to rebel, to rebel against the status quo, against our paralysis, against the monotony and to step into the light.

I hope you get there first.

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February 20 & 21

Remodel your career around happiness.

If that seems like an impractical pursuit, consider this:

Real happiness requires fully practical outcomes.

Real happiness means we make a living that fits our pictures.

Real happiness means loving our work and loving our lives.

In the waves of rapid change, thousands of participants use The Inspired Work Program to get off of obsolete platforms and create the kinds of lives that provoke waking up with a smile and looking forward to the day.

Look forward to a new day.

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