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  • Amina Aitsi-Selmi

3 big lessons I got from creating my own job


Last week, I attended a seminar on the future of work. The World Economic Forum, big thinkers on the subject and a good amount of evidence seem to agree that we’re entering the second machine age and automation is going to replace a lot of middle-class jobs…

Which ones are going to be hollowed out? The ones with decision-making that can be done through an algorithm: medicine, the law but also banking (because of blockchain).

I don’t know if or when this is all likely to happen but I know that Elon Musk, my PhD supervisor and Karl Marx have all pointed to the same thing: a world where machines do the work and we are paid a living wage to flourish outside the phenomenon we have come to know as “work for money to consume”.

What’s also becoming clear is that rational thinking (which by definition can be simulated by an algorithm) will no longer be as prized. Gone will be the high status of the “expert” to make way for something far more difficult to automate: intuition, creativity and empathy. So forget about getting more qualifications focused on information; it’s emotional intelligence that will get you bitcoin credits to spend on your new hoverboard.

What can we do in the meantime? You may have noticed that market gets “disrupted” with increasing frequency by new technology which makes any sense of predictability/certainty/stability illusory. Lewin’s linear model of change is out of date.

We’re in an co-emergent, highly interdependent world. Your ability to respond and adapt with calm and creativity and translate your ideas into a clear message and vision will distinguish you and bring you remuneration. Of course, you can try and hide in the old economic structures and institutions but be prepared to live in a constant state of mild to moderate dread. You can’t hide from your destiny…

If it’s any help, here’s what I learned from creating my own job in the midst of the chaos and uncertainty visited upon my profession:

1) Uncertainty = opportunity: no explanation required here, I think.

2) Your fulfilment depends on reversing the money-impact relationship. There’s a notion that we must climb the greasy pole and get to the top where we’ll be secure enough in our power and money to then have an impact, relax and be happy. However, fulfilment is more likely to come now to those who are willing to create impact and value first knowing that the ripple of impact will come back to them in many forms including money and recognition. Entrepreneurs (think Bill Gates, Elon Musk) but also visionaries (Gandhi, Martin Luther King) show us what’s possible on the grandest scale but it doesn’t have to be that big.

3) Your rate of progress towards fulfilment depends on your comeback time i.e. how long it takes you to get out of fear and back to creativity and impact. The shorter your comeback time, the more likely your energy is used in the most efficient way - on creative action rather than procrastination, anxiety and distractions that kill your mojo.

So if you’re sensing something’s off in your career situation, don’t ignore your intuition. Even if your rational mind doesn’t have all the answers, your path will be revealed if you start moving out of your comfort zone.

Are you willing to open up to the bigger picture, take a step forward and get on (the hover)board?

Have a great week,


p.s. Come to the Leaders Circle! You can come in person or join the online webinar. We'll have your career and life figured out in no time.

  • 26th of July at 6.30pm UK: The Leaders Circle at Harley Street: Transformational Communication. Join us for an evening of meaningful, discovery conversations on careers and learn powerful practices around presenting, negotiating and resolving conflict. With thanks to the social enterprise the MBGroup for sponsoring the venue.

  • 11th of July at 6pm UK: The first Leaders Circle online! “Power up your communication to boost your career”. Join in for an interactive webinar where I’ll share tools from the Leaders Circle and answer any questions on the topic.

Register here:

Other upcoming events 6th July: Birthing babies, birthing your dreams: a parent’s power to create the right life and career. PLUSbaby (physicians returning to work after parent leave).

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