These jobs wouldn’t exist if our lives weren’t so dynamic
Dozens of occupations depend on our constantly changing lives.
After pondering about how our modern day work culture ostracizes and neglects the society at large in ‘The absurd dynamic nature of modern day work’, it occurred to me that many such occupations wouldn’t exist but for our happy gallivanting across the globe. A few roles in human resources, the packing and moving industry, the transport sector, real estate and the food industry are the first ones that come to mind. And if you’re wondering, yes, I do mean these in the most absolute sense. Because it would just be incredibly difficult to keep these organizations afloat without relying on a constant floating population to keep them occupied with meaningful work.
The current pandemic has proven that.
People move all the time. Whether to migrate in search of work, educational pursuits, to live with extended family members, or to fulfill their professional obligations, people of varying capacities from diverse backgrounds are ever moving all across the globe at any given point of time. No point in history has ever witnessed global human connectedness at such massive scale. This has contributed to the overall economy with the creation of additional service roles, which this constant stream of urban nomads desperately depend upon.
Just a few generations ago, life was pretty one dimensional. It was well known that a single career path is the way to most riches. Fast forward to 40 years ahead, and this trend has seen a 360 degree pivot. Holding on to a certain domain, and working a single company all through ones life no longer brings the kind of prosperity and success it once used to.
On the contrary, it serves as a major impediment to ones career and personal success.
The learning curve has been greatly shortened in just the span of a few decades, and students are learning way more than what they are taught at university. Due to the presence of a mind-numbing number of learning avenues, the modern day student is no longer restricted to the confines of the classroom, at the mercy of just a handful of teachers.
This not only significantly democratizes the learning space, where all essential knowledge is concentrated in just a few minds, but also provides students with multi-fold opportunities to choose as career paths.
Moreover, the ambit of “student” has been greatly expanded to include people of all ages. Due to vast improvements in technologies and industrial systems, people of all ages are getting back on the learning train and up-skilling to get ahead in the industry and aspire for a higher standard of living. This means people are nowadays not moving just for a new posting or promotion, but to add to their knowledge capital, which can be encashed at a later stage.
Take a look at the following job roles and the industries that have sprouted up because of them:
Job consultancies and contractors: Achieving career goals and making a name for oneself remain to be one of the biggest reasons for urban migration, nationally or internationally. This has given rise to an entire section of industry that is dependent on such desires and aspirations. Also, the population is no longer what it used to be at beginning of the industrial revolution and has grown exceptionally fast. However, the biggest players, i.e, the companies who pioneered this globalization revolution, remain to be the ones most people aspire to work for.
This has led to the birth of dozens of job consultancies and contract agencies around the world. Since no company can single-handedly manage to screen, test and hire a massive number of applicants, it only seemed wise to outsource this task to a handful of companies who have certified professionals doing the job.
Educational consultancies: With upward mobility comes higher aspirations. Most people would like to provide a higher standard of living and better quality of education to their kids. This has led to the mushrooming of educational consultancies who are tasked with getting students successfully admitted in colleges and universities overseas.
This has also led to the birth of distance learning and the conception of the online learning industry.
Packers, movers and storage services: Akin to the U.S, India is now seeing a spurt in storage companies offering long term holding areas for someones personal baggage and household items. While it might be a cultural thing in the U.S., the trend in India seems to be a distinct outcome of the Covid-19 pandemic. Packers and movers have always been in demand due to the transient nature of life in modern day cities, and the impermanence that pervades everyone's life.
Akin to the U.S, this has given rise to the storage industry in India, which was completely non-existent in the past.
Real estate agents and renting: Renting predominantly thrives on people having to move cities for the sake of employment. This can happen nationally, internationally, or even locally. But by far, the biggest contributor to this sector has been the movement of job seekers from rural to urban regions. World over, there has been a massive exodus from rural to urban areas for the purpose of finding a better job and a better life.
This has given rise to hostels and co-living facilities in cities. People visiting the city for short term work who aren’t sure about their duration of stay are the target market for these facilities. Additionally, this considerably benefits those who are sure of their tenure, but do not necessarily have disposable cash for a down payment on a rental home. Of late, they are largely being utilized by travelers and digital nomads, who find it extremely convenient for their way of life, which revolves around extensive travel with tight budgets.
Whether it’s the real estate industry, educational consultancies, the packers and movers industry, or hotel and travel industry, all depend on the movement of humans and the dynamic nature of modern day jobs. We were not meant to sit in one place and work endlessly there. We’ve always been a bunch of nomadic hunter gatherers. While the reasons for movement might be different today, it doesn’t take away from the fact that we’re a massive tribe who’s continuously on the move, and constantly on the look out for bigger and better opportunities.
This has led to the creation of meaningful livelihoods in some places, and not so desirable outcomes in others. But that is another topic for another day.