Work in the Future..


Do you enjoy it, though?

The problem is that you’re unlikely to find a well-paid part-time job, other than by getting to the stage where you can write your own hours and limit the days you work through expertise (so the slog is required). The alternative is to work a ‘normal’ week at some lower paid, lower stress job. The question you have to ask yourself is how bored can you cope with being for half your waking hours five days a week?


I’ve got both those now will give them a read and see what happens!


Well these are the questions, aren’t they? I used to enjoy it but now I find myself very much bored of the job itself (while still working the long hours under endless pressure to get stuff done by ridiculous deadlines)…it seems the industry hasn’t really learned anything in 16 years. Same old mistakes, again and again. You know how low my tolerance threshold for mindless stupidity is.

I did a lot of unthinking jobs to put myself through college over 20 years ago, I’ve no problem with repetitive jobs. Seems to me the trick with them is to be content with your own company for extended periods. I enjoy me just fine, it’s humans I have problems with :nin :laughing: . Though the prospect of doing a job like that for 30 or 40 hours a week for the next 20 years…

I’ve also no dependants and have a fairly frugal lifestyle really, I’ve no interest in bling, so when I look at the figures I really don’t actually need all that much coming in each month to have a decent quality of life by my standards (and whose else are relevant here?), and nobody can accuse me of harming others out of some mid-life crisis or other. Seen that happen, ain’t pretty.

So no, it would probably have to be - take a chance on an entirely new venture working by and for myself at something I enjoyed doing - which I frankly doubt would be IT-based; or stick with this line of work but do a radical shift in the work-life balance where I do a bit of IT now and again as a contractor but spend a lot more time travelling, reading and generally experiencing this ol’ planet. I mean I’m probably unlikely to have kids now at my age so what am I doing this for, eh?


This is a fascinating thread and the above two posts strongly reflect my ruminations on the matter. I would add to Yoga’s point that a lower stress job would also mean a reduction not only in salary but in status. How would you feel about being bossed around by some upstart 10 years younger and far less qualified than you? Like others on here I have found shedding surplus less ‘stuff’ very liberating and am continually seeking to simplify my life even further. I earn a low salary by Irish standards but get by more than well. I like my job (love some aspects of it) and the stress element doesn’t come from workload but rather than having to deal with an odious, utterly odious head of dept, whose behaviour would have had him suspended in a more egalatarian society. Strongly considering going part-time (theoretically possible in present position) and setting up a little business to fill the financial gaps. Just my 2c


Or ONLY experts, the drudge work gets automated out of the equation but the automated system is complex enough that it needs someone to set it up and get the plumbing right (whereas once upon a time it was a bunch of people editing HTML and firing files up onto an ftp site).


I skim-read this book recently, thought it was not bad: … lling-work

One tip he gave that I really liked was that if you want to change your work, rather than spend ages doing personal profiles, talking to career coaches, looking at job descriptions etc., (i.e. frontloading analysis and trying to set yourself up for one “perfect” move) find ways to DO things and try out new stuff. So lower the barrier and make a list of some jobs/careers you thought you might like to get into. Then don’t plan to quit your dayjob right now and switch to one of those, rather find a way to do an experimental dip into each. Could be through sparetime project, could be through persuading someone to let you job-shadow them for a week (you could use a week’s leave to do that), or whatever.

I think it has the advantage of making the next steps concrete actions, rather than nebulous analysis steps with ill defined decision points, and the fear of a leap is replaced by the intermediate hassle of a baby-step.

Won’t maybe work for every situation, but it’s good for analysis-paralysis victims like me!


It’s a fascinating, if disconcerting, train of thought. But we were brainwashed back at school way back then. You studied hard, got to college, got a degree, and a good satisfying career would be yours before retiring to a nice pension at 65, or even earlier if you were lucky. That was the script we were sold.

This is exactly my experience! So refreshing to hear it from someone else. It has come as a complete shock to me that this is not true! I don’t for 1 moment blame our parents’ generation for suggesting this strategy to us. It was their experience and it kind of remains so; they are at retirement age ish and most of the ones i know have made terrific careers out of these solid degrees and professions.

For some reason it’s different these days and having these degrees sometimes seems to put you into a box career wise rather than opening doors. And when you look at people making millions each year in jobs that seem much less stressful and less demanding… It’s disheartening in some ways. I think many professions in the past, involved learning the whole thing in college and then off you go. Now everyone involved has to move with the times and technological advances so much you almost need to be in constant learning mode. Career breaks are just not worth it in some fields as you would very quickly be out of the loop IMO. It really requires vocation level of interest and dedication and is largely not for the faint hearted.

For example a dentist who does extractions, fillings, and all the basic things is not really walking the walk anymore… Space retainers, root canals, orthodontics, endodontics, bleaching, crowns, veneers etc. etc… So much more stuff to be an expert on than when our parents were at that stage and I imagine more stress and litigation. Not my area at all but just this is what I mean about professiOns being less of a cheery way to earn a crust these days


I really enjoyed this thanks for the recommendation, not sure it entirely changed my way of thinking but rather reaffirmed it. I particularly like the idea that creativity in a person is never eliminated but rather ‘redirected’ or repressed into idle fantasies and worries. Essentially creativity is not an ego centric energy but rather a natural energy that flows constantly requiring an output. If this output is denied than stress results and that the joy should be in the process as such not the outcome. The work I’ve been doing over the last number of years has been overwhelmingly rational possibly leading to a stultification of this ‘energy’.

Some of the other key points that resonated with me were:

  1. The importance of independence from the expectations of others.

  2. The difficulty of finding out exactly what you want to do when your worldview is so heavily influenced by the worldview of others such as your parents and peers.

  3. The constant doubting nature of the mind. This is a popular theme in many of these books aka ‘resistance’, the second book you mentioned also dealt with it, and if anyone is interested Pressfield in ‘The War of Art’ wrote a whole book about it which I enjoyed, in which he describes life as a form of never ending battle against the forces of ‘resistance’.

  4. The possibility that not taking the risk and settling for the ‘sure thing’ is actually the riskier move.

I think the fundamental lesson of most of these books is have the courage to trust yourself. This at a more fundamental level is about faith and is in my view where religious people have an advantage over those who those who deify the rational mind. Do you have the faith in the deeper non-egodic forces that propel you with all the inherent uncertainty and unpredictably or on the other hand do you put your faith in the rational scheming mind, which is limited to what has been experienced directly and to knowledge already known.


Thank you dkin for an excellent post above. This is very appreciated by me as I search to output my own creativity in a natural way.


I don’t blame them, although I think there is a fantastic greed among my parents generation for their pension entitlements (even the use of the word “entitlement” to describe them). I think my father will retire with something approaching my own salary, which is well in excess of the average industrial wage. Mine is the only income in our household and we have one child, we manage on this without any degree of discomfort and are fairly happy with our current setup. Paying the kind of rent you need to in Dublin to get a decent family home being our greatest and probably only real extravagance. Among my father’s cohort - the solid profession types - this fixation with pensions appears to be normal. I guess if your whole life appears to have been building to this point, no amount will ever be enough. Now he has recently retired, the new obsession appears to be “pension management”, juggling what bits you can avoid paying tax on, how much you can reinvest, how much to draw down and so on. That and finding something to do I suppose, there is probably only so much golf you can play.

Personally, I don’t ever plan to retire and have made absolutely no retirement provisions to date. I just have my own savings and investments. I do plan to structure how many hours I work at different stages in my career and like YM says, that requires serious expertise so I have been building towards that and am happy with my progress.

The key point I want to impress on my child is for her to mistrust the advice we give as to what the “proper” career path to follow is. What works for one generation will not always work for the next. Many of the people that followed the advice that was given by my parents generation have ended up as virtual debt slaves. Working in careers they don’t enjoy, no possibility of achieving the promotions and pension benefits afforded to those ahead of them on the career ladder. Locked into massive three decade or more long mortgages at prices never to be seen again in their lifetime for a house that is poorly serviced and an uncomfortably long commute from their place of work. Remember that was the “sane” advice to follow. Have they really fared better than someone who left school at sixteen to pursue a trade they enjoy immensely and now have considerable expertise in? That doesn’t mean everyone should leave school at sixteen but just advising that we should always be critical of anyone proposing there is only one true path.


Very thought provoking. I rely on my rational mind to help inform my decisions based on my experience but I feel I must be deist to find a meaning for it all.

“do not put out the spirit’s fire, do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.”

My mother, a widow, a homeowner with no taxes was earning more than me the renting taxpayer with her public pensions yet she was always ill at ease from conditioning to believe that it was never enough. In her mind she was always poor and always would be and no one could convince her otherwise.


Likewise my mother. When she died last year, we were shocked to find out how much she’d squirrelled away while living like a church mouse. Shocking waste of time.


My parents actually never mention pensions at all and they still have great businesses that they keep a close eye on. Very much professionals who made a fortune out of being good at their own thing and I am delighted for them! I feel they kind of misled me a bit though in terms of if I got into a good profession life would be great, but thru no fault of their own. It was their experience.


I can’t tell you all how disappointed I am with this thread. No posts by Doc Brown and not even a mention of time travel! Now back to my Futurama boxed set … :unamused:


That does indirectly raise a good question though. Whatever happened to the ‘futuristic’ life of leisure (or at least reduced work) that technology was going to provide us with, according to those short films/ads from the '50s. Why does the accepted work schedule need to be 9-5 Mon-Fri ?


I reckon our famous recession has pretty much knocked that whole futuristic fantasy nice lifestyle idea on the head. Unless you actually created Facebook from scratch, or some other wild imaginative master stroke, 'tis the stuff of dreams…

We had a bit too much of it back in the day tho - the weekend shopping trips to NYC, the weekly lavish beauty salon makeover, the whole Celtic Cub Social Climbing Coke Head mentality?!!


Perhaps leisure was the wrong word, I meant more fulfilling non-work time. All the activities you list obviously require large amounts of disposable income (or credit i suppose!) generated by working. What about people who would rather work less, and spend less accordingly. Seems the modern workplace is conspicuously geared against that kind of behaviour.


Sorry I genuinely did not mean to lower the tone here and drag a perfectly good and relevant idea into the gutter! :blush:


The future is here:

Warehouse Robots at Work

Amazon bought this company recently. Can’t see why a more advanced system wouldn’t work for most pharmacies and possibly even supermarkets.


What technology has been often been used for is to frontload tasks onto the user, at least over the last decade or so.

-The first wave was to help with centralisation of records and automated routine processing tasks overseen by experienced or skilled administrators

-The second wave was getting rid of secretaries and making people responsible for their own communications and reports

-The third wave is getting consumers (and staff) to input all information themselves and getting them to work from anywhere 24/7. It’s the McDonald’s model, why employ somebody to clean up when you can train your customers to do the job for you for free.

-The fourth wave will be the start of AI , but we will have to tell the AIs what to do and probably increase loading again. And a bunch of other stuff that I have no clue of!

There is a fallacy that technology is helpful in increasing leisure time but what companies used it for was to reduce labour cost and build productivity, and often loading increases on the remaining staff. The always on and always connected brave new world is not necessarily a good thing.

The only thing that increases leisure time is having a bunch of money so you don’t have to work or if you are willing to downsize your lifestyle.