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The rise of monetised mothering will drive employment

Nurturing talent is on track to becoming a growth industry

The following professions will continue to expand in 2019: coaching, mentoring, advising, navigating, alongside multiple variations on teaching – early educators, adult educators, para-educators and ever more specialised tutors. Enabling others to reach their full potential, or, if you prefer, growing human capital, is the lifeblood of what Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, calls “talentism”.

Anne-Marie Slaughter, President and CEO of the thinktank New America, says the coaching sector is fast-growing, both in physical form and lifestyle/emotional/career growth. Executive coaches, leadership coaches and career coaches all cater to different parts of the business market.

Education coaches also abound. A future of lifelong learning will mean a demand for lifelong teaching, as workers must continually “reskill” to new job or task requirements.

Another expanding job category is navigation through complex systems. A random search for navigator on the job site Simply Hired turns up “career navigator, member navigator, patient navigator, housing navigator and veteran navigator.” Goodwill Industries, a non-profit that helps train job-seekers, says that its employees are much more likely to complete the steps necessary to finish school or get a better job when they have a navigator at their side finding a path through a thicket of forms, regulations and benefits.

Coaching, navigating, advising and similar jobs will also benefit from the addition of technology – whether it is big data letting an education coach or adviser know when a student is showing signs of incipient drop-out, or bio-feedback telling a health coach how to advise a client on trigger foods or times of day when her blood sugar drops. This growing tech dimension makes these jobs more attractive to men; indeed; it is noteworthy that coach and navigator suggest more traditionally masculine roles than teacher or health aide. And, sad but still true, the more men in the sector, the better the pay.

In 2019, as artificial intelligence and robotics take over more job roles, the idea of a talent economy in which humans invest in other humans will become increasingly attractive. Our job, though, will be to make it gender neutral, both at home and at work. Let’s call it “parenting for pay”.

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