Spring weather is finally hitting the Midwest, and we can actually go outside and see grass instead of snow. Where I live, the first spring Friday is usually a colossal waste of time at work, as everyone tries to figure out a way to play hooky. Folks here at FOT do the same (don’t tell Kris Dunn), so I thought I would have some fun with the post today.
Did you know that you cannot pump your own gas in New Jersey and Oregon? Apparently, it’s the law that you pull in, stay in your car and somebody pumps your gas for you. They have a freaking law protecting the pump boy’s job.
Gotta tell you—if my mortgage is only getting paid because of that job dying right in front of my eyes, I’m not sleeping well. Here’s a tip: If every person in the whole dang country can do your job by the time they turn 17, your career stability is pretty thoroughly hosed.
It got me thinking. What other jobs out there are low-growth, dying jobs? Hit me in the comments with your suggestion, but here are the ones I thought about:
- Assembly line worker at a pay phone plant: The joke I heard is that the only people who use pay phones are guys having affairs who aren’t smart enough to buy a pre-paid burner.
- Telephone operator: I will give a virtual nickel (real value .000000000001 cents) to anyone who reads this blog and has called an operator in the last eight years.
- Toll booth change person: Machines that count money and make change have been around for decades and toll passes are everywhere. Work in a toll booth? Save up.
- Yellow pages printer: These things keep getting dumped on my porch and promptly recycled. Is there seriously a yellow pages printing plant churning these things out?
- People who “reserve” things (hotel, car, airline, etc.): If I can log on and avoid talking to you, I’m a’gonna. Polish up the résumé.
- Hard-line phone repairman: If my hard-line phone breaks, it’s gone. I’ve been waiting for an excuse to kill that thing for years.
- Walgreens or CVS photo person: My parents’ generation can only go to these places for so much longer, right? How much longer will people need to be shown how to download a photo?
I am sure there are tons more of these, so feel free to share in the comments. If you are in one of these jobs, have no fear. You can always go into VCR repair or Flip Cam sales. Good growth opportunities there, I think.
I have spent the last 20 years of my professional life advising leaders to make great talent decisions to drive business results. In my current gig, I lead talent acquisition and management for a multi-billion-dollar, 100% employee-owned construction company. I geek out on analytics, succession planning, etc. and love it when we position folks to do their best work. That’s fun stuff. I tease bad HR people, because I think we can all do better, myself included. That’s fun, too.