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Preparing For The Jobs of the Future

With technology advancing so rapidly, we know that the next 10-20 years will be full of changes to how people work.  This means changes, as well, in how people educate themselves and how they find work.  For one thing, the rapid advancement in technology will reach exponential proportions and along with it, the changes needed in the workforce.

Increasing automation is also looming on the horizon, but what it means is that some types of jobs will wane.  Over the long term, technological innovation creates more new jobs than are lost through obsolescence.  And some industries will continue to thrive, including healthcare and retail.

Earlier this year, the World Economic Forum reported that humanity would be out 7 million jobs by 2020 due to automation—with admin and office jobs taking the brunt of the blow. –

We are also coming upon a new era of human potential, with robotics, human augmentation, space travel, virtual reality, holography, self-driving cars, and sustainability/permaculture innovations creating entirely new industries.  It’s the stuff of our futuristic dreams, and you can be involved.

The best way to predict the future is to invent it. – Alan Kay

A lot of new career choices are also emerging, some of which would have seemed inconceivable just a couple of decades ago.  So, how best to prepare for this shifting career terrain?  For one thing, becoming a lifelong learner keeps you current, and that keeps you competitive.

With the world moving as fast as it is, we need to become a society of people who are always learning new things. – Julie Friedman Steele,  World Future Society

The Career and Business Crystal Ball

Consider that many of today’s jobs barely existed 10-20 years ago, but are now commonplace and lucrative:

  • ipad-605420_960_720Mobile and tablet application developers
    Game designers and developers
  • Social media coordinators and managers
  • Web content developers
  • Big data miners and scientists
  • Personalization and automation specialists
  • Robotics and nano-technology scientists
  • User experience researchers and designers
  • Digital artists, animators, and illustrators
  • 3D printing manufacturers
  • Health, wellness and life extension practitioners
  • Life and career coaching
  • Renewable energy jobs

162 Jobs in the Future…

Free Agents

smartphone-1733892_960_720Free agent culture thrives in the film, media, and music industries and is beginning to spill over into the other creative and tech industries.  With many freelance marketplaces available, professionals can gravitate towards project-based work.  It’s not for everyone, but if flexibility and novelty drive you, becoming a free agent can be a great lifestyle choice.  It also means that if you have several unique skillsets, you can work on projects in a variety of roles.

Free agents are:

  • Project managers
  • Graphic designers and illustrators
  • Digital and traditional artists
  • Film and video crews
  • Bloggers and podcasters
  • Photographers
  • Musicians
  • Web and application developers
  • Writers and journalists
  • Teachers and instructional designers
  • Speakers and coaches
  • Special needs and occupational therapists

Entrepreneurs and Small Business

teens-629046_960_720Becoming an entrepreneur has never been easier, given the technology, fund-raising, and marketing tools now widely available.  Even if you are just in the idea or prototype phase, crowd-funding your endeavor is a real possibility.  How do you know if your idea will appeal to modern consumers?  Novelty, life enrichment, efficiency, and convenience are major drivers.

  • Technology start-ups – cloud-based services, wearables, virtual reality, pervasive/ubiquitous computing, and artificial intelligence.
  • Food-based businesses – artisanal food products, food delivery services, special diets, and health & wellness.
  • 3D printing – buildings, household items, organs, and even food!
  • Robotics and artificial intelligence – robots for manufacturing, caretaking, and dangerous jobs.  AI and machine learning for better prediction and personalization.
  • Renewable energy and sustainability – solar, wind, and green building practices.
  • Urban, hydroponic, and vertical farming.
  • Cannabis businesses – growing, distribution, equipment, and edibles.
  • Online sellers – handmade items or small manufacturers selling through sites like Amazon and Etsy.
  • Lifelong learning providers – for in person and online learning.
  • Bio-medical devices – health and wellness monitoring and tracking, body augmentation.
  • Space exploration, mining, and tourism.
  • Citizen journalism, social activism, and education.

Jobs of the Future

blog2How do you prepare for jobs that don’t exist yet?  With more exciting developments on the horizon, the jobs of the future will spring out of today’s innovations in bio-tech, climate adaptation,  personal care, and a wide array of technological innovations.  Future jobs will require more complex and specialized skills; things that robots and automation aren’t great for.

It’s going to take a long time for robots to be good at soft skills, like social and emotional intelligence and cross-cultural competency. – Fast Company



Essential Skills for Future Careers:

  • Digital and social media literacy
  • Adaptability and agility
  • Knowing how to learn
  • Networking and collaboration with others
  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Managing chaos
  • Simplifying and minimizing complexity
  • Entrepreneurial and creative thinking
  • Mentorship and coaching
  • Anticipating customer needs

Enter your interests and receive $10 off your first class!


Want to learn how to do something life-changing? 
Check out thousands of upcoming classes on Connect2Classes.



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The Grapes of Craft: Wine and Inspiration Flow at Cork & Click

Photography classes

It was the rain that made Christiana Childers rethink her business.

Discover Photography Classes

For years the Childerses had been teaching small groups of beginning photographers how to operate their cameras while taking in the sights of Seattle. Then one March day in 2012, as she was planning another outing, she checked the forecast: It was bad. Forty-five degrees and persistent rain bad.

“Oh, this is gonna suck,” Childers recalls thinking. “But they were all local ladies, so they didn’t need a tour of Seattle. Instead we just decided to go to a winery, and we just had the best time.”

The winery experience sparked something in Childers. Soon after, she started splicing photography classes at wineries into her city tours. It wasn’t long until she and her husband went all-in and launched Cork & Click, offering a different kind of instructional experience to would-be photographers—one more relaxing and less intense than your average photo-class experience.

Childers knew all about that experience. She had come to photography somewhat late in life, picking up a camera during her two daughters’ early years. Seeking to develop a skill set that would allow her to capture their young lives in a meaningful way, she signed up for a beginners’ photography course, and soon found herself packed into a classroom with dozens of other struggling shutterbugs, staring at a screen as the instructor showed photo after photo and rattled through a lecture on tools and technique. Childers had questions, but didn’t dare ask them. “There were so many people there, and I just thought they would think my question was dumb,” she says now. “I couldn’t really find anyone who could explain things to me in a way that didn’t make me feel like an idiot, like I’m supposed to already know these things.”

At Cork & Click, questions are encouraged. Childers keeps her classes small and intimate enough that no one feels dumb asking what ISO stands for. And even if they do, the wine is there to help. For two years, Cork & Click has called the Patit Creek Cellars in Woodinville home, and while Childers is clear that the wine is not the main point—that non-drinkers have had great experiences as well—the six or seven tastings that take place throughout the comprehensive four-hour class help to lower defenses, open conversation, and let creativity flow.

“There is something about sitting around a table where everyone is sharing an experience, and wine really does make it feel like, ‘OK, I can relax a little bit,’ ” she says. “It takes the pressure off.”

In this relaxed, intimate atmosphere, Childers spends the first two hours teaching her beginners’ course. Instead of showing her students what flawless photography looks like on a projector, she runs them through the basics—aperture, shutter speed, and ISO—as well as terms and techniques, and then allows them to wander about the winery and experiment. Unlike the traditional class setting that sends students home to apply the day’s lesson, Cork & Click allows students to ask Childers questions while they are fiddling with all those buttons and levers on their cameras.

Students who sign up for the comprehensive course spend another two hours learning about the artistic side of photography, exploring composition, lighting, and portraiture. And of course, there’s a little more wine to be had.

“Really what I wanted is for people to feel comfortable,” Childers says. “To feel comfortable asking questions and hopefully feel like they are at my house. We’re having a glass of wine, let’s talk about it, it doesn’t have to be anything serious.”

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What to do now that Serial is over

now that Serial is over

Have you been hooked on Serial? I admit that I was completely engrossed in it. There were so many fascinating aspects of the story. First and foremost the very sad and tragic murder of Hae Lee.

Serial is a new podcast from the creators of This American Life, hosted by Sarah Koenig. Serial follows one story – a true story – over the course of a whole season. It follows the plot and characters wherever they take go over the course of their investigation. The audience learns along with the Serial team and is sometimes only a few days behind. Season One’s story goes like this: On January 13, 1999, Adnan Syed was a hurt and vengeful ex-boyfriend who carried out a premeditated murder. Or he was a bewildered bystander, framed for a crime he could never have committed.

If you haven’t heard the podcast yet, you might want to go and do that. But if you have finished it and are looking for something to keep the excitement going here are some classes you might be interested in:

Your Voice: a Professional Tool – I have listened to many audio books over the last few years and if there is one thing I can say improves the book, it is the reader’s voice. I found Sara Koenig’s voice, cadence, and attitude to be a big part of my enjoyment of the podcast.

Conducting a Killer Interview: Clearly, Sara interviewed many people during the 15 months she researched Serial, and as a reporter she was probably a fabulous interviewer, to begin with. But, did she get extra information out of people because of her style, her questions, or her ability to connect the dots? There is an art to conducting an interview and you can learn how to do it too.

Documentary Workshop: Perhaps you are more interested in telling a story in film than audio. You can learn the techniques of successful documentaries from long time PBS producer John de Graaf in this two-day workshop.

I don’t know about you, but I will definitely tune in for season two of Serial.

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Five Tips for Better Photos

Five tips for better photography

Everyone wants great photos. Whether it is pictures of your kids, your travels, scenery, or even your cat. A great photograph tells a great story. Photos can be an expression of yourself, can capture a moment, and transport you to another place.

Tony Puerzer of Bright Idea Photography has written 5 Tips for Better Photos. Download here: FiveTipsForBetterPhotos

1 – Be Prepared…

Having a camera ready to go – including a charged battery and proper settings for shooting on a sunny day – allowed me to capture this paraglider when he suddenly appeared overhead.

Always carry your camera with you, and know how to use its basic controls. Learn to expect the unexpected, since photo opportunities can happen at any moment. If you have your camera with you – and it’s already set for the current lighting conditions – you will have a much better chance of catching that fleeting image. Before you pack your camera away at the end of the day always recharge its battery and reset its controls to their standard settings. That way, when the next photo opportunity presents itself, your camera will be ready to go instantly.

2 – Get Close… Then Get Closer…

The photographer Robert Capa once said “If your photographs aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” The next time you take someone’s photograph move in just a little bit closer before you press the shutter button. And then do it again. Getting closer to your subject is the best way to make your portraits more compelling and intimate. Getting in close helps isolate the subject from the background and reveals subtle details in your subject’s expression, clothing and pose.

“If your photographs aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.”  – ROBERT CAPA

3 – Simplify, simplify…


In photography, what you leave out of an image is often more important than what you include. There are a number of ways to simplify your photos. Often, simply taking a different perspective – either higher or lower – than you normally shoot will eliminate distractions in the background and simplify your image. If the background is still too busy try walking around to the other side of your subject. There is always a vantage point that offers a simpler background – so seek it out. Simplifying your image helps the viewer understand what you feel is the most important part of your photograph.

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” – ANTOINE DE SAINT-EXUPÉRY

4 – Good Things Come in Thirds…


Imagine the evenly spaced lines of a tic-tac-toe board superimposed on your camera’s viewfinder – two vertical lines, and two horizontal. Try placing your subject on one of these four lines. This will naturally move your subject away from the center of your photograph and it often creates a more compelling composition. In the case of a portrait subject, try positioning the center-line of their face on one of the two vertical lines, and try placing their eyes on the top horizontal line. For a landscape photograph, try placing the horizon in the top or bottom third of the photo, rather than having it run through the center of the image.

“The rule of thirds, like any ‘rule’ of composition is made to be broken… but it makes a great starting point for your compositions…”

5 – Take a Class or Workshop…

One of the first photo workshop I took was with the legendary New York photographer Jay Maisel.

If you’re feeling the need to better understand your camera, or to try a new style of photography, then a class or workshop might be just the ticket to achieve better photos. Certainly, it will introduce new ways of thinking about your photos and help you hone your photographic skills – by getting you to think outside your current comfort zone and to try new techniques and subject matter. If you’re a budding photographer, a multi-day workshop is also a great way to quickly build your online portfolio of images.

“Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher.” – JAPANESE PROVERB

If you would like to look at taking some courses, Hudson’s Photo Workshops offer a variety of basic to advanced photography classes and digital photo classes near Seattle, Bellevue, and Tacoma. The founder of Hudson’s Photo Workshops, Bruce Hudson, is a nationally recognized master craftsman photographer, author, and educator who has crafted a collection of workshops designed for all skill levels with topics relevant to today’s photo enthusiast. Check them out!

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Know Your Learning Style

learning style

Deciding to participate in Continuing Education for any reason can be intimidating at first, especially if you’ve been out of the loop for a while. If you’re like most, you also have a life to manage. When making the decision to further your career or find your passions through classes, it may be helpful to identify the type of learning style that best suits you.

According to professionals in the field of adult learning there are three basic types of learning styles; visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners. So what does that mean?

Visual Learners – You like to see what’s going on! Do you often say the phrase, “As I see it…”? You might find a learning environment that is very visual to be best suited for you. If you can see it – you can learn it! That’s awesome. Photography, design, or an art class might be some great choices to pursue. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be artistic, it’s likely you’ll uncover some hidden talents!

Auditory Learners – You probably say things like, “I hear what you’re saying…” you’re a person who listens carefully. Go you! Do you sometimes talk yourself through an everyday task? This is a common practice with people who are good listeners. Workshops that involve listening to lectures and taking notes or classes about music theory or learning to play an instrument are good choices for you. Fine tune your learning experience!

Kinesthetic Learners – If you say things like, “I feel like you…” you’re someone who has hands on style learning capabilities. That’s great! You’ve got to “do something” right? Try classes like pottery, welding, or gardening. These tangible learning experiences are going to keep your interest long after class is dismissed!

Then there are the super brains that can do all three. That must be amazing. Not me, I’m a visual learner, plain and simple. Even though my strength is really in just one area – as long as I recognize this strength – I can find learning opportunities that work well for me.

Once you’re in a continuous cycle of learning it’s time to start challenging yourself a little. That’s what this is all about. Start with your strengths and build from there. Find the one that fits!