How Do You Stay Relevant When Your Job Is Obsolete?

If you search your memory (aka the web for some of us) for careers that don’t exist anymore you’ll end up with a long and interesting list. Elevator operator, milkman, video store clerk, telephone operator…the list goes on and on.

Some careers are gone because of changes in modern culture. But in the last decade or two a large number of jobs were replaced by machines or because entire industries turned obsolete by modern technology. Computer operators and data entry workers were professions that came with computers, but are already gone.

Of course, you could argue that some professions will never change. Lawyer, doctor, chef, plumber. Which is true…until they change.

Skill requirements have always changed over the years, but not at the pace we see now. We hear that technological evolution has been happening exponentially. Does that mean that new types of jobs are being created and killed just as fast? It seems likely (although I have no data to prove it—and I’d love to see some research if anyone has any).

Empirically, we can look at AngelList. It currently lists 84  startups hiring Growth Hackers. Even has Growth Hacker listings. But we don’t know how long growth-hacking is going to be a thing. At what point do you decide to be a growth hacker before no one needs one?

The question for the new workforce is then how to prepare for constant change and acquire skills that will get them ready for multiple waves of change.

How do you cope with the change and avoid becoming obsolete along with your job?