This is the time of year that we tend to spend doing two things, we reflect on the year that has been and we make promises about the year to come. Since the stats are against us keeping our New Year’s resolutions, can I suggest instead that we think about the possibilities the future holds?
When I consider the future of communications I get excited about being in this field. It is a sector that is growing and blossoming and the biggest challenge facing most communicators is the ability to keep up with the changes. Of course even if you keep up you have to be able to discern between what’s worth learning and what can be ignored. Not as easy as you might think when new tools are constantly being added to the mix and when platforms that you’ve never heard of become go to destinations virtually overnight.
All of these changes mean the very nature of our jobs are also altering. We can all expect that our future jobs will look very different from what we do today. Just as authors now have to exist in a virtual world and communications means having dexterity in social media, we can expect to see changes across many different sectors as we all become more virtual. To satisfy my curiosity I went to the internet to look at ideas and I brought some back for you to consider. What’s interesting is that some of the “future” jobs I found are things that people are doing today. The future is now.
Avatar Manager – This individual designs and manages holograms of virtual people. Yes, that’s right, your personal brand will be a lot more complex in the future and your avatar will be the single strongest element of that brand. Imagine the nightmares that would follow if your avatar was hacked?
Digital Architect – In this profession you design the settings where virtual retailers will sell their goods. Rather than having consumers scroll through uninspiring pages of images, they will instead be able to “visit” virtual stores whose ambiance will matter as much as it does now, more so in fact since you should be able to achieve any setting you like in a virtual world.
Digital Media Planner: This position already exists but perhaps hasn’t been fully flushed out into an individual job in most organizations. This is essentially a high-tech version of a media buyer. This individual scans the internet and determines what ‘s hot with who and what sites would represent good opportunities for clients. They decide what kind of ads and what sites will best use your Internet advertising budget.
Personal Brand Manager: I thought these guys already existed and in Hollywood they were called agents, but it seems this future professional does more than sell your talents. The PBM will develop and manage your personal brand so that your avatar says does and looks just right and so that the only side of you that’s seen in the virtual world will be a good one. This may require deleting bad internet press or drowning it in good positive stories about you. I’m pretty sure these services are for hire today.
Social Media Strategist: This position is similar to the digital media planner, but is related to the thinking behind the decision to purchase. The SMS helps organizations to develop a following on growing and fast changing social sites such as Facebook or Twitter. Although this is still predominantly an outsourced service, larger organizations are seeing the benefit of hiring in-house specialist to create everything from buzz about product to ad campaigns that are intended to be viral.
Web Analyst: This role is an expansion on the marketing role that already exists today but will become more important going forward. Since a lot of what organizations do in the virtual world is intended to drive consumers to their websites, it follows that you will need someone to look at the behavior of consumers once they get to your site. A web analyst will use customer information from the visits to your website to predict trends. This will allow you to build better informed advertising and communications strategies.
Omnipotence Delimiter: I personally think this one may be needed by some of our political figures right now, in fact I can think of a mayor who may be in need of these services. The OD’s job is to rein in our belief that anything is possible and we are all-powerful.
What do you think? What jobs does your future hold? Do you think these jobs are likely or that they already exist?