Blogs > Your Money

Dave Patterson and Erin Preston, a father-daughter team of Certified Financial Planner® licensees, provide thoughts and suggestions on a broad collection of personal finance topics.  Information provided in this BLOG is intended to be of a general nature and may not be appropriate for all situations.  Readers should consult with their own financial advisors before relying on any information contained herein.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Aim To Be a Creator

We are hopefully coming out of one of the worst economic periods of all time. You’re feeling good. The stock market has rallied from its horrible lows. Your Social Security payments have been reduced by 2%. You’ve paid off your credit card debt and you’ve kept up on your house payments. What’s more, you didn’t get laid off during the crisis and you’ve even been working some overtime. You are confident your job is safe. After all, if you kept your job through the “Great Recession”, it must be safe. Right? Perhaps not.

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal provides reason for many to be concerned about the long-term viability of their jobs. The article, titled “Is Your Job an Endangered Species” by Andy Kessler (Thursday February 17, 2011) says that part of the reason we aren’t seeing the unemployment rate go down is a result of technology. He states: “Technology is eating jobs – and not just obvious ones like toll takers and phone operators. Lawyers and doctors are at risk, as well.”

That’s not to say that technology is the only reason for the lack of jobs. He notes that new regulations, payroll taxes and health-care costs make hiring people costly. However, new technology is rapidly replacing people. Among the professions with fewer jobs, Mr. Kessler noted were tellers, phone operators, stock brokers, stock traders and travel agents.

Mr. Kessler states that there are two types of workers in our economy: creators and servers. Creators, he says, are the ones who drive productivity. They are writing software, designing chips, doing research, inventing new products. Servers, service the creators. Many servers, he says will be replaced by machines and computers.

According to Mr. Kessler, even doctors and lawyers are at risk. Computer software that can scan legal documents and computer-aided diagnosis programs can do a lot of the work of lawyers and doctors much less expensively.

The bottom line is that unless you are a creator, your job may be at risk at some point down the road. You may want to give some thought to obtaining some new skills. We suggest you check out one of our past blogs titled: “Maybe It’s Time to Diversify Your Skills”, posted September 6th, 2010.

These days, it seems that nothing is a sure thing. The more you prepare for all contingencies, the better you’ll be able to sleep at night!


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