This Is A Guest Blog Post
What do elevator operators, icemen, switchboard operators and lamplighters have in common?
They are all occupations that no longer exist.
It's not just in our modern age that technology and lifestyle changes lead to jobs becoming obsolete. As elevators became more self-regulating, electric refrigerators became a staple in every home, the telephone industry changed radically and electric streetlights replaced gas lights, each of those familiar jobs ceased to be.
If we go back further into history, we find plenty of other jobs that no longer exist as well. We don't need scribes to write or read letters for us, and modern appliances have replaced a great deal of paid domestic work.
What are the contributing factors that cause jobs to vanish?
It's not simply a matter of technological change, although that is one of the most common reasons. Cultural changes, too, can lead to the elimination of jobs, but in certain circumstances they can also bring jobs back.
For example, for a few decades, giving birth was considered something to be done in hospitals with a doctor to hand, but midwives and doulas have made a comeback in recent years.
Some even work outside hospitals and clinics delivering babies at home. A growing interest in locally sourced food has some people turning to farming, a profession that is generally in decline, to supply niche restaurants and farmer's markets.
A renewed appreciation for older crafts and older ways of doing things has led to the resurgence of jobs as diverse as shoemaker and beekeeper.
Sometimes, people embrace a new technology and then decide that the older way was better after all as is the case in fields such as animation.
It can therefore be difficult to predict what jobs and industries are going to be around in a few decades and which ones will cease to exist altogether.
Although if the infrastructure ceases to be for certain jobs, those jobs will vanish as well. After all, even the most dedicated lamplighter needs lamps to lights.
So, what types of jobs are likely to be around in the next few years and which ones are experiencing a steady decline?
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