Your Career in 2009 (and Beyond)

October 27th, 2008

The World Future Society has released ten fearless forecasts for 2009 and beyond. If these predictions come to pass, they will mean major changes in our work lives and how we manage our careers.

1. Everything You Say and Do Will Be Recorded by 2030. “By the late 2010s, ubiquitous unseen nanodevices will provide seamless communication and surveillance among all people everywhere. Humans will have nanoimplants, facilitating interaction in an omnipresent network.” This is the terrifying one, at least from my perspective. It’s bad enough that our emails are recorded. Soon we will have to worry about every stupid thing we say coming back to haunt us someday.

2.  Careers, and the college majors for preparing for them, are becoming more specialized. “Instead of simply majoring in business, more students are beginning to explore niche majors such as sustainable business, strategic intelligence, and entrepreneurship. Other unusual majors that are capturing students’ imaginations: neuroscience and nanotechnology, computer and digital forensics, and comic book art.” I like the idea of colleges and companies offering more diverse opportunities for people to find work that they love. And I love the idea of being able to major in comic book art. I do worry a little bit that super-specialization can make it easier to get trapped in the wrong narrow niche. A focus on career specialization should be accompanied by plenty of support in exploring your options before you commit to a course of study.

3.  Professional knowledge will become obsolete almost as quickly as it’s acquired. “Most professions will require continuous instruction and retraining. Rapid changes in the job market and work-related technologies will necessitate job education for almost every worker. At any given moment, a substantial portion of the labor force will be in job retraining programs.” This may sound a little bit daunting (after all, how are we going to fit more training into our already-overstuffed schedules?). At the same time, I am thrilled at the prospect of companies offering employees resources to continuously evolve and grow. It will be a lot harder to get stuck in a bad career if all careers are constantly changing and periodic career changes are viewed as standard operating procedure for all workers.  The average American worker already changes careers several times over the course of a lifetime. Won’t it be nice to have more resources and support when it’s time to change things up in our work lives?

Read up on the World Future Society’s other predictions — including their forecasts for the death of the car, the growth in urbanization, and the evolution of religion in the Middle East.

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Mark McClure


Re: #3:

I can tell you’re a career coach just from this wonderful question in your post:

“… how are we going to fit more training into our already-overstuffed schedules?”

My experience is that you can’t fit in more training in an working environment if people are running flat out just to keep up – and this is possibly where ‘waste’ in the annual expenditure on training and development is coming from.

Over the years I’ve seen many people (including me) go on courses with the best of intentions only to file the manual on the shelf – with the real benefits of spaced review and application of the material condemned for ever more to feel more like an abandoned New Year resolution.

(BTW – I see a career path for both internal and external “knowledge coaches” here and not just the traditional “brain-dump” training method – I mean sustained and supportive follow up and assessment way beyond self-study and CBT etc)

On the positive side, I guess the tech smarts (e.g. the nano stuff) will in theory lead to more efficient use of people and resources.

However, if we remain invested in a “success is measured only as profits and growth” business world view, then perhaps cyborgees are the next big evolutionary jump in worker productivity and cost reduction? (Yes, I have a copy of Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’ in my line of sight right now – that probably triggered these words ;-)


Hi Pamela,

Just wanted to say that I’ve started reading your blog. I’m wondering if you have heard about the book, “What Men Don’t Tell Women About Business”. I heard the guy (Chris Flett) on the Today Show and thought you probably have already heard of him. I’m wondering what your thoughts were. He seems to be really taking on the ‘Old Boys Club”. I just emailed him, but haven’t heard back.

Anyway, keep up the great writing.




Hi Pamela,

I’ve been doing some additional research on the author, Chris Flett, that I talked about on my last comment. His company is “GhostCEO” ( and his book is a bestseller. I found it on Amazon here. Anyway, he was in the NY Times last Sunday under the “Career Couch” and he makes reference to women’s blogs like yours so I thought you might like to connect. I’d like to see you interview him and see what he’s all about. I saw on another blog he was a guest blogger. His email is:

Best wishes,


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