To say that the second decade of the 21st century has seen major shifts in the nature of employment is something of an understatement.
Most of us get that the amazing development of artificial intelligence is behind the weird, yet oddly friendly, digital employees who are fast taking over mundane tasks in many traditional workplaces.
Meanwhile, more complex human-only positions that were previously unimaginable are now being filled by millennials – and by the first of the Generation Z population, who were born after 1995. Many of the latter cohort are currently finishing school, college or university and are eager to make their mark on the working world.
Social media manager:
When Facebook launched in 2004 it was very much a network wherein ordinary individuals could make contact and message each other. Employees were warned that the platform shouldn’t be accessed during work hours – but things have changed so dramatically that these days practically everyone is expected to be an active user, 24/7.
As a result, the role of social media manager is now critical in almost all medium-to-large companies. This is largely because Facebook and subsequent social media platforms have more than proved their worth in engaging and enhancing business success.
Putting it quickly into figures, the world’s population is now close to 10 billion and the Internet has almost 5 billion users. If you want people to buy your goods or use your services, it’s essential to get your profile out there, locally and internationally.
Founded just over 10 years ago, in March 2009, Uber (which means ‘super’ in German) has changed the face of passenger transport in New Zealand since 2014, both in peer-to-peer ridesharing, and more recently in food delivery. Uber’s bicycle-sharing system is yet to arrive here.
The local taxi industry, which previously enjoyed a monopoly in the sector, is understandably unimpressed at the degree with which Uber has affected their local business, but rumour has it that many drivers work interchangeably across both platforms, taking a 25% cut of their fares on Uber and less on more recently arrived options, such as Ola and Zoomly.
Worldwide, around 15 million Uber trips are made each day with users drawn to the immediate nature of the service. In urban areas a ride can happen in two minutes – or less, after an initial digital request, which is made via the easy-to-use Uber app.
These semi-autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles look set to permanently change the face of commerce (Amazon is currently well-advanced in planning delivery of parcels to their customers by drone), and inspection and monitoring in industries such as oil and gas. They’re also proving invaluable for commercial photography in specialised areas such as real estate, and even weddings.
Safety inspections in dangerous places such as volcanic cones and across fault lines and in mines can be undertaken by drones – and while utilising this enhanced technology for intelligence gathering in the military has become a whole lot less dangerous for pilots, arguably drones in this field have introduced new dangers too.
When it comes to employment in the industry, piloting a drone is much more complex than flying a hobby remote control aircraft, but the most sought-after experts at the moment, are undoubtedly the software gurus who can research and develop increased efficacy in the field of drone automation.
These ostensibly outgoing and enthusiastic people have been around for a long time and companies still regularly sent samples of new products to relevant employees in the print media in the hope of a positive mention. Social media has elevated this potential exposure dramatically and serious careers are being made and sustained on the reach of a certain person’s digital clout.
While some influencers easily achieve tangible success, marketing managers in fields such as hospitality report a constant flow of ‘wannabes’ offering, for example, two Facebook posts, plus one on Instagram, in return for free accommodation, flights or meals.
“These people need to understand that we employ analytics to ascertain whether their promised figures hold up,” says Donna Campbell, Executive Director of Public Relations at Sands China, a hotel group in Macau. She vets dozens of such approaches every day.
“We’re very careful about who we engage with.”
Forget the days of phoning your doctor to make an appointment, then suffering until the time and date when he or she can see you. Northland public health campaigner and doctor, Lance O’Sullivan is spearheading an online approach that will hopefully catch potentially dangerous issues at an early stage for the majority of patients, using modern technology.
He says that initial diagnoses in the system will revolve around sore throats, skin problems and other basic infections, adding that being a GP in Kaitaia has shown him some very specific community issues that must be addressed. One of these is vaccines, which he says should be compulsory for kiwi kids.
“People need to understand that the science is solid and robust,” he says.