Physics, Baseball, and the Future of Work
I was a pretty unusual 5th grader. While most of my fellow 11-year olds were asked what they wanted to be when they grow up, most of the them gave the expected response: lawyer, doctor, third baseman for the Yankees. I, on the other hand, wanted to be a physicist.
Granted, I had no idea what a physicist actually did, but I loved science, it sounded like a cool gig where you could play with lasers, and I knew that if I studied hard enough that I could become one.
As I look back on that memory 25 years later, I realize now that I could have never imagined the career track on which I actually wound up. I’ve spent my entire professional life doing the ambiguously-described* work of Business Development, but no kid ever grew up saying “I want to do BD when I grow up.” While the appeal of playing professional baseball may be partially to blame, so too is the fact that many kids are workers of tomorrow who will grow into career tracks that don’t exist today.
The Jobs of Tomorrow Don’t Exist Today
Increasingly, the jobs of today are ones that didn’t exist a few years ago. Social Media Analyst, Data Scientist, Product Manager, SDR, UX/UI Designer, Business Developer, Customer Success Rep, Blockchain Consultant — there are countless roles that have existed for so short a time that they are continuously being defined by the people in those jobs. It’s only reasonable to expect that many of the jobs of tomorrow don’t exist today.
While the explosion of new roles creates exciting opportunities, these new and emerging jobs lack the support structures that ‘traditional’ careers have.
While the explosion of new roles creates exciting opportunities, these new and emerging jobs lack the support structures that ‘traditional’ careers have. If you want to become an accountant, for example, the path is pretty clear: what schools to attend, what classes to take, at which companies you’ll want to work. Throughout your career you’ll likely be surrounded by fellow accountant peers and mentors. You can foresee the opportunities for a 50-year career, as it’s been done so many times before.
But new and emerging careers don’t enjoy the same benefits. Educational resources are often lacking, and it’s often unclear where to study these new roles. Opportunities to connect with peers or mentors are hard to find, and you may be the only one of your kind in your company. A resume filled with experience doesn’t have the same impact when recruiters have no idea what you actually do for a living.
And that’s why I’m starting a company called Firneo. Our mission is to help individuals thrive in the future of work. To do that, we’re building communities that support new and emerging career tracks.
The first Firneo community will be centered around an area that’s admittedly near and dear to my heart – Business Development. Over time, additional communities will form to support the wide array of career tracks that are equally under-served and unexplored.
And perhaps one day, when another 5th grader has a dream job that’s a bit off-the-beaten track, they’ll be able to see a clear path towards the life they want to live.
Founder & CEO, Firneo