How less professionalism will get you ahead in the workplace of the future | Aaron Hurst


Dell and the Institute for the Future did
a study a couple of years ago trying to really think about, what are the jobs that will be
here in 2030? 10 plus years out, what are the jobs that
are going to be most prevalent in 2030? And what they came to realize as they did
the analysis, and this is forward looking, so it’s not proven, but I think it’s very
credible, is that 85 percent of the jobs in 2030 don’t exist today. Eighty-five percent of them. And you think about that in terms of your
career, like, what advice would you give a kid about their job and career trajectory
when 85 percent of the jobs you don’t even know what they are? Or how would you think about it as a 25-year-old,
a 35-year-old, a 45-year-old, how are you going to need to adapt to address that change? So my kids now are 11 and 13. And I think one of most common conversations
is around, what do you want to be when you grow up? And traditionally the answer to that question,
like, we’re going to be a doctor, a nurse, a teacher, a banker, a politician. This sort of concept in and of itself is basically
becoming less and less relevant. And one of the things you have to really think
about is how is work going to be different when we see automation, when we see these
changes happening in the workplace, and what does that mean for your specific career? There’s a couple different aspects of this. I think one is to think about the idea of
a professional. For a long time, we’ve said, you need to be
more professional. You need to act like a professional. But I’d encourage you to rethink that. So if you think about what is a professional,
like, how would you define a professional? There’s a couple different ways to define
it. But the way that I’ve seen it defined pretty
consistently is that a professional is someone who can do the same thing multiple times with
the same result. You go to a doctor because they’ve seen other
people. They’ve done that surgery before. You don’t want to grab someone off the street
and have them do surgery on you. You want someone who has done it before and
reliably produces the same result, the same thing you want from, you know, a lawyer. It’s the same thing you want from a teacher. You want that ability to consistently produce
the same outcome. Now let’s think about artificial intelligence
and what it’s automating in the workplace. Where A.I. is most effective is when you’ve
got something that you do multiple times to produce the same output because that enables
us to basically program machines to do that task if it’s a consistent, repeatable activity. So the actual definition of what’s going to
be replaced through A.I. is the definition of what a professional is. So to be able to really compete in the workplace
going forward, my advice is to be as unprofessional as possible, that actually it’s your humanity,
it’s your ability to do things that are not predictable, to be able to do things that
a machine wouldn’t be able to do that are going to enable you to thrive. So, all these definitions we’ve got around
professions doctors, lawyers, educators, these are actually incredibly dangerous ways to
think about our careers. The second we think about ourselves with a
professional label, we’re basically creating a fixed mindset about our careers that’s going
to hold us back. And we’ve seen this like with what’s happened
with the industrial transformation, where people who couldn’t get past the changes that
were happening through digital transformation, if they couldn’t adapt, they got left behind. And the same thing is going to happen again. And the key is to fundamentally be able to
recognize who you are at your core to define yourself based on your purpose, the impact
you want to make, the kind of values you have, what are the special powers that you have
that transcend any job? I would say, you know, a good and well-defined
purpose is something you should be able to do as an executive assistant, as a CEO, or
the center for the New York Knicks. And if your purpose is so narrow that you
couldn’t do any one of those jobs, you basically are not — you’re defining it in a way it’s
going to be productive for you in a workforce that’s constantly changing.

78 thoughts on “How less professionalism will get you ahead in the workplace of the future | Aaron Hurst

  1. It's amazing that simply 'being yourself' is the key to success in life. But what does that mean? It's about digging DEEP into your consciousness to see who you really are, outside of the habitual programming and conditioning that has kept you feeling stuck and limited. When you do that, there are no limits to what you can create.

  2. Aaron, the problem is that the loss of jobs will probably outstrip job creation. Automation and AI will kill a lot of work. What will be left? I don’t think think this is like the industrial age where buggy whip makers complained about cars. When you see humans having to compete with robots at Amazon, it's done.

  3. You have a completely different idea what it means to 'Act like a professional" than anyone else I've every heard of. Acting like a professional is being respectful, courteous, polite, but also proper forums when taking notes like an appoint, its not written down on a sticky note, correct grammar and no slur words, etc.. A professional is someone that seems like everything is well put together, they know what they are doing, they are well organised, not that they actually are good. I can be a professional and still be learning my trade when I talk or are in front of others.

    Now that is for sure not the same as being a professional at your job, but "acting" like a professional is what I'm talking about.

    With the topic you are talking about, it doesn't matter if we do that, it wont change, it is up to the CEO's and shareholders how the business will progress, not the workers.

  4. This is an interesting thought exercise..
    I'm afraid I disagree with you

    because sometimes being humane is professional..

    To give you an example me as a Med student my doctors taught me that a professional doctor is a doctor who treats his patients as humans not robots..
    I should always ask about their feelings concerns and respect their decisions..to go the extra mile..

    To leave your weekend & time off & go back to the hospital to help a patient who is in critical condition.

    To me being professional & humane are the same thing.

  5. To me people who will be successful in the future..

    Are not necessarily humane or professional…
    But i think it's the creative guys..
    Innovation is the most valuable thing in my opinion..

    I really wish i have more of it..

  6. Professionalism isn't just about repeatable outcomes, it's about outcomes. Repeat success does not equal repeatable task. We are slowly reaching the limits of miniaturization with computing. Just look at the self-driving cars, they were predicted to be here 2 years ago, i mean it's definitely coming but if automating something most morons can handle easily we are nowhere close to automating surgeons, lawyers and all those highly trained Jobs. Will the Jobs change? Of course, they always have, see any wooden wheel makers anywhere, automobile killed the chariot market. What we need is not less professionalism, its more with the ability to adapt. It is because we already have less professionalism and high wages that they are trying to automate Jobs.

  7. I was thinking about "professional" meaning you wearing a business suit and talking about "synergy".

    Also yes, the jobs in the future will be nothing like they are today. No one, 10 or 20 years ago would like that people could make a living from making videos and posting them online or "live streaming".

  8. Work is for peasants. Aristocrats don't have "careers." Does the Queen of England worry about a career? Adopt the owner mentality. His whole premise is off. He and so many others don't know how to NOT think like a peasant. Work will be automated. The present consumer culture will die. Most peasants will probably be culled or caged. Good luck to your children!

  9. Clearly doesnt understand what it means to be a professional. Sounds like he has developed and ideology that excuses his life and his decisions.

  10. This issue is about generalists and specialists, in nature, if the specialist's system is affected, he must change and learn something new, that is what the I.A. represents. the business of selling cars and transporting is so necessary at every moment of our lives and lucrative, that is getting them to drive by themselves, I think that the car is the most important and effective machinery of the human being, we will turn it into a robot.
    It is very possible that we make him our best friend, like the Knight Rider tv series, the same with our phones. I still wonder, when someone will make robots that clean and organize your bedroom? for me there is money there, that is a task of housekeeper, a specialist in clean and order the house.

  11. If you're not one of the gifted thinkers, you can always be one of the very poor and live off the work of others. Did I get that right?

  12. you're conflating professionalism with specialisation.
    people who have overspecialized are dependent on other specialists to overcome many of their problems or technical issues.
    Farmers don't specialize. They have to be carpenters, mechanics, cooks, janitors, emergency response, veterinarians…

    in the future, instead of producing crops, we'll either be producing value or not. the value itself can be subjective, but we're either producing it (by consuming other value) or consuming it outright without productivity. That can be ok if intentional, but I think people should really migrate toward being intentional more of the time than they are unintentional.

  13. This is the DUMBEST thing I've ever heard. In a world where robotic/AI is predicted to take over every, single occupation now performed by humans, go rogue & see what happens to you lol….

  14. After listening to this, I talked to my co-workers like how I used to talk to Marines… long story short, I gotta ask one question: Is Big Think hiring?

  15. credible in 'your' mind – just another organization attempting to use fear as a tool towards a narrative – you think there's not going to be doctors, nurses, teachers, lawyers, politicians, police officers, firemen, solders, mathematicians, engineers, project managers, tech repairmen, construction workers, retail workers, in ten years? really, lol – what there won't be is a market for qualified SJW's in gender and cultural studies – a professional is someone qualified and competent in the disciplines they specialize in, if you believe and preach that employers are not going to be looking for 'professionals' in the near future, your simply doing your kids and everyone else a disservice and meet the criteria of those who are part of the problem forward as apposed to part of a solution – I work on the cusp of what your talking about and AI is not even close to preforming to the level of "application" that's necessary for what you speak of and won't be anytime soon – although we're well into R&D and many have a "grand imagination", the processes for manufacturing (physically creating), implementation (rolling things out on a national and or global scale), and assumed 'application' of such systems are still 'decades' off / for 10 years out, think electrical and process technicians, automation and process engineers, biotech – and infrastructure craft workers will still be needed for decades

  16. While I agree with the spirit of his talk, I don't agree with throwing away professionalism because I disagree with his definition of a professional. I feel a professional is someone who has deep knowledge of an idea and can leverage it to accomplish goals. I don't think repetition is a defining part of being a professional but really the deep knowledge.

    Despite that, definitely agree with not pigeonholing yourself. Diversify your skillset to keep yourself relevant and give yourself room to pivot if need be.

  17. I forgot that professional means skilled. We all now associate professional simply with having manners. No wonder we have a skilled workers shortage in the US. We are too busy trying not to offend anyone that we forget we actually have to acquire skills.

  18. Professional statement: Respectfully, your claim that 85% of jobs does not exist today, are not substantiated in any meaningful way. (eg. extraordinary claims require extraordinary factual evidence)
    Less Professional statement: Fuck you and your understanding of professionalism, you mong.

  19. His argument is over simplified. Being professional is more than just getting things done. Professional encompasses more things like: being on time, respectful, honest, consistent, accountable.

  20. Calm down everybody. The guy is trying to cram a complex idea into a three minute sound bite. If word economy wasn't imperative then I'm sure you all could align over a more nuanced definition of "professional"

  21. In comments, I notice two kinds of people.
    1. Who are dissecting what he said in literal sense and try to prove how he is wrong and engage in argument about what is correct and what is not. (For example, definition of 'professionalism')
    2. Who get the general idea about what he is talking about, take what's useful and move on.

  22. Hurst defines the word 'professional' to suit his comparison vis-a-vis A.I. (ability to produce repetitive successful outcomes). Unfortunately, human professionals show a wide distribution of 'competence' and this is most globally visible in the rankings of professional sports people. Also for every trial lawyer than wins the corresponding professional loses -so his definition of 'professional' is erroneous at least. His argument would have been more honest if he just stated the fact that humans can rarely/never match and beat machines at their strengths i.e. producing consistent outcomes. So far this is true for non-AI machines and will become more true for AI as it develops.

    Furthermore, he is cocksure that 80% + jobs will disappear, without disclosing how he can be this sure. His guy would have to be an AI/himan returned from the future…if he is to be taken at his word.

  23. He defines professionally and then takes it for granted to sneak in an extra level concern of where AGI will be in a decade than is warranted.
    A lot of professionals don't merely take a consistent input and produce the expected output. A lot of these higher skilled jobs require a capacity to adapt to not-seen-before situations and use experience, intuition, and also abstract reasoning to produce the desired output.

  24. It probably won't be 10 years but eventually we're going to have to divorce ourselves from the idea that a job gives you value as a person. Simple work eventually won't need humans anymore and I suppose that's great for the capitalists, but it doesn't seem like we are even close to having a meaningful conversation about what that means for everyone else or humanity as a whole.

    Are we building towards a world where the ultra wealthy can automate the rest of us away entirely? It certainly seems like we are putting the building blocks in place…

    "In 1930, the economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that technological change and productivity improvements would eventually lead to a 15-hour work week.
    But, despite significant productivity gains over the past few decades, we still work 40 hours a week on average.
    Keynes's reasoning was that by producing more with less (also known as being more productive), all of our needs would be met through less work, freeing up more time for leisure.
    But the data and research since Keynes's time suggest that companies have kept the benefits of productivity for themselves."

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-09/what-happened-to-15-hour-work-week-predicted-in-1930/9030702

  25. This is just such sloppy thinking and advice. You are paid to deliver despite obstacles; to communicate clearly despite complexity. You have to iterate and learn how to do this in both domain specific and non specific way. As automation takes hold the scope and impact of work increases and this gets harder not easier. In your job you are ultimately responsible for increasing capital spend and opportunity cost of all that Automation.

  26. This is overly simplistic. Being a doctor is far from doing repeated tasks. If you think that then you really have no idea.

  27. Humans can improvise. Automation can't.

    I would never trust automation to do surgery or to teach or be lawyers.

    The internet can help people learn on their own. But, that's not the same as teaching.

    I think a combination of people and technology will ultimately lead to the best results in most areas.

  28. carefull now son it may just be your masters are the ones who need to adapt to an uncertain future
    math is by no means my wizard specialty. but im pretty god damn sure they are out numbered just the same.

    oh and seriously fuck off with the wizard hands on your next video you pretentious dipshit.

  29. At what level can AI improvise when it hits an anomaly? Doctors, Teachers, Lawyers and most professionals deal with anomalies constantly. That fact is the flaw in this fellows logic. Someone with the ability to think outside of the box when an issue arises in a repetitive task will always be necessary.

  30. You need to be a special breed of buffoon if you think in only 11 years we will automate and destroy 85% of the global economy. So that by 2030 85% of jobs won't exist today. This may well be true in 150 years but to think that in only 11 years we won't have software engineers and teachers and soldiers etc etc is just totally nuts.

    Sure we could automate truck drivers and retail employees but that's not 85% of all jobs that's more like 8.5%

  31. I was in one job, kept missing out on promotions, years later a boss told me off the record that because i was so good at my job it would take them about two years to train someone up to replace me so they kept me in that role and promoted other people who were actually WORSE at the role than i was.

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