What are the fastest disappearing jobs (and is yours safe)?

“The growth of technology is causing some of these jobs to lose ground over the next two, five or 10 years.”

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“May you live in interesting times” is a two-sided curse most often attributed to the Chinese and made popular by Bobby Kennedy in a 1966 speech. Like it or not, we live in extremely interesting times. Artificial Intelligence means that some jobs that might never have existed are completed with ease with the aid of computers. Cool, right? Completely. Unless you’re one of the people whose jobs might be in danger of disappearing due to evolving corporate needs or the increased automatization of certain tasks.

Michelle Armer, the Chief People Officer at CareerBuilder offered some tips on what to look out for in the next few years and how to understand whether your job is in danger of going the way of the dial-up modem.

The top disappearing jobs over the next 2, 5, 10 years and why they might no longer be relevant

“Some of the top disappearing jobs over the next two years include executive assistants, farmers and ranchers, mail carriers, machine, and electrical equipment assemblers, and door-to-door sales workers,” Armer shared via email. “In the next five years, some of the jobs that are expected to disappear include respiratory therapy technicians, textile dyers and patternmakers, fishers, switchboard operators, and data entry roles.”


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In looking even further ahead at the next 10 years, she reveals data from CareerBuilder and Emsi shows that roles for logging workers, radio and TV announcers, engine and machine assemblers, and positions in metal works will likely decline.

Blame it on technology: Armer admits that“The growth of technology is causing some of these jobs to lose ground over the next two, five or 10 years. Technology innovation is moving at an unprecedented rate and is rapidly redefining occupations and skills required in the job market. Workers in these roles, as well as workers across all job levels and industries, will need to continually pursue opportunities to upskill in order to maneuver around shifts in labor demand.”

But don’t despair just yet: While some jobs may be disappearing, all hope is not lost. “With record-low unemployment and a jobs report that came in better than expected with 263,000 new jobs added to the U.S. economy last month,” Armer reassures us that “there is ample opportunity for job seekers across all skill levels. We also found that the United States is projected to add more than 8 million jobs from 2019 – 2023, spanning industries and wage brackets.”

The jobs to look out for: There are massive growth industries as well, “With new jobs being added in healthcare, technology, marketing, education, and other industries.” Armer believes “workers can find new positions that fit their skillsets as the job market evolves.” As long as you continue to evolve with it, of course!

Signs your job might be disappearing or that your industry is weakening

It’s always important to try to read the writing on the wall, so you can prepare for the next stage of your career—or start a job hunt—if necessary. “Jobs or tasks that can be more efficiently and effectively accomplished through automation may disappear,” said Armer, but there’s an interesting twist.

Workers might actually find they have time to devote to other tasks. So, if you think one part of your job is disappearing, don’t wait until your skills become obsolete. Try to find new skillsets that allow you to evolve with your career. (Here are some tips on how to robot-proof your career)

Avoid the downward professional spiral

An interesting trend Armer revealed was that 59% of employers plan to train and hire workers who may not be completely qualified for the position. The key is that they have potential. “The top skills many hiring managers are looking for are the ability to be team-oriented, attention to detail, and customer service,” offers Armer – “which are not necessarily correlated to someone’s past work experience.”

Talk about a silver lining. Armer believes “This shows that regardless of someone’s background, there are opportunities in the evolving workforce, and in many cases, they can receive training on-the-job after receiving an offer for a new role.”

So, what you know or what you know how to do isn’t the only indicator of what you might be capable of in the future.

Can you segue from a disappearing job to something more stable?

If you’re worried your job might be on the chopping block even if it seems rock solid, Armer says “Upskilling and reskilling are important, especially as technological innovation has a strong influence on the market.” She adds that “more than 8 million jobs are expected to be added to the U.S. market.” Though they might not always be in the most coveted categories.

For that reason, continually expanding your skill set means that instead of being potentially looked over, you’re more easily able to straddle several career categories if needed.


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Rachel Weingarten|is a marketing & brand consultant and writer who frequently writes about business and style and the business of style