In the olden days, our economy was dominated by the production of goods and services. People worked to provide things that were useful to other people. Workers with practical skills were in high demand, managers with administrative experience were well-paid and entrepreneurs were highly rewarded. If you wanted to get on in life, you learned a useful skill and developed your expertise.
Nowadays, we live in the ‘information age’. ‘Real work’ is increasingly outsourced to developing countries and new jobs are being invented to provide work. ‘Virtual work’ is replacing productive labour. There is a boom in the production of guidelines, ethical codes, engagement programmes, management processes, compliance procedures, behavioural protocols and awareness initiatives. The number of diversity officers has doubled in the last year, according to Glassdoor.
A massive job creation programme is underway, with new roles in global corporations, universities, government departments, the emergency services, community projects and charities. Investment is pouring into projects ranging from ‘cultural re-engineering’ to the manufacture of ‘outreach inclusion’.
Here is a selection of the great new jobs on offer:
Large organisations have a responsibility to demonstrate that they employ the appropriate number of people with a defined set of immutable characteristics, otherwise known as ‘diversity’. Diversity practitioners are able to identify people’s racial and ethnic origin, sex and sexual orientation and level of able-bodiedness, in a discrete manner. Diversity Practitioners carry out ‘diversity audits’ by mingling with employees and striking up conversations to gain details of their sexual practices and identify any religious beliefs. Reports are then completed to ensure that the appropriate quotas are filled.
Skills required: The ability to identify lesbians, gay men, bi-curious potential gays, Muslims, those with Nordic ancestry, those with body parts which do not fully function .. and count them.
The PC PC
Most crimes now take place on the internet, as a result of new laws designed to criminalise behaviour on the internet. The exponential rise in ‘cybercrime’ is being addressed by expanding the number of police officers dedicated to finding it. A new rank of Politically Correct Police Constable (PC PC) has been created and traditional bobbies have been removed from the street to patrol Twitter. PC PCs are trained to understand inter-sectional student politics and apply it in their daily work. They are experts in identifying ‘hurt feelings’ and spotting the ‘inappropriate use of words’. PC PCs generate ‘hate crime’ statistics’, which are instantly solved by issuing ‘tweet warning’.
Skills required: An aptitude for creating and solving crimes from the comfort of your favourite chair.
Global food companies have recognised that people no longer want ‘sausages’ or ‘broccoli’. The modern consumer doesn’t simply buy and eat food, they like to discuss the ‘origin’ and ‘provenance’ of their purchases with their friends and family. Shopping is an opportunity for the educated consumer to create a story which reflects their ethics and values. Authenticity Inventors manufacture ‘ethical origin stories’ for simple pork products and everyday vegetables.
Skills required: the ability to transform our perception of everyday products using the words ‘artisan’, ‘organic’ and ‘natural’.
Director of Sustainability
Every organisation is becoming ‘sustainable’. The old metrics of business sustainability – profit, shareholder value and product quality – are being replaced with new values including carbon neutrality, re-wilding and environmental welfare. Sustainability Directors deliver PowerPoint lectures at conferences to other people with ‘sustainability’ in their job title. The main role of Sustainability Directors is to sustain the role of the Sustainability Directors by directing companies to recognise the importance of their sustainability.
Skills required: an ability to sustain sustainability.
Historical Relevancy Creator
TV broadcasters and campaigners have discovered that contemporary ‘issues’ can be made relevant by linking them to historical events. For example, the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage was used to highlight the unequal pay of female broadcasters and executives working for the BBC. Historical Relevancy Creators organise awareness-raising press releases by linking genuine cases of historical hardship to modern-day inconveniences.
Skills required: The ability to wallow in the grievances of the modern professional classes.
Arts Inclusivity Officer
Many art galleries put on exhibitions which consist of works of art which the public considers to be ugly, uninteresting and involve little craft or skill. As a consequence, most people stay away. Arts Inclusivity Officers are employed to generate Arts Council funding by way of compensation. Using phrases such as ‘social inclusion’, ‘community-led’ and ‘empowerment advocacy’, Arts Inclusivity Officers write reports and deliver lectures to generate public funding for unpopular artists.
Skills not required: An appreciation of artistic beauty, insightful curation, or aesthetics.
Sexual Moderation Enforcement Officer
Local Authorities have discovered that workers who work together every day sometimes form non-professional relationships and occasionally engage in inappropriate behaviour. Research shows that many couples, no matter how hard they try not to, end up meeting at work and the imbalance of workplace power relationships is putting women at risk. Sexual Moderation Enforcement Officers monitor workplace conversation and intervene to prevent the spontaneous development of non-work-related relationships.
Skills required: The confidence to intervene where employees look at each other in a mildly suggestive manner or discuss the possibility of a drink after work.
As organisations focus less and less on their main purpose and work becomes less fulfilling, some people are experiencing a loss of direction and meaning. Therapists are being introduced to help managers find comfort in their role as functionaries. Psychological support is provided to managers, to help them come to terms with the juxtaposition of earning a good wage, yet providing no useful function.
Skills required: The ability to distract managers from contemplating the pointlessness of their organisation through the implementation of wellness strategies such as desk yoga and team ‘huddles’.
The world of work is changing. Don’t cling onto the antiquated belief that work is the process of producing something that others find useful. Engineer culture! Build inclusion! Manufacture diversity!