Kiplinger’s had a recent list of the jobs that, from an employment outlook point of view, look like the worst bets at this point in time.
So, if you planned on becoming a floral designer, sorry pal. Folks are still buying flowers, but they’re buying them from the supermarket and via the ‘net, not from their charming local florist. I don’t buy a ton of flowers, but when I do it’s mostly from the nice little florist on Cambridge Street or, if I’m feeling a bit flush, from the fancy-arse florist on Newbury. I do sometimes pick up a bunch at Whole Foods, but most of the flowers I see in supermarkets tend to include really weird-colored carnations. I happen to love carnations. Just not the weird-colored ones, although I will tolerate a green-tinged one for St. Patrick’s Day.
I’ve had mixed luck over the years with ordering Fed-exed flowers online or via catalog. My worst experience was sending flowers to my cousin’s house after her brother died. The bouquet and vase in the catalog looked gorgeous. Unfortunately, what was delivered was a spray of dead flowers in a vase that looked like a funeral urn. My family being my family, this instantly became a joke. I was, of course, incensed about the dead flowers, so I called to get my money back. They explained that the flowers had frozen, prompting to me to wonder why they had delivered frozen flowers, and whether they were familiar with January in New England. They said that, of course, they would not charge me for the flowers, but that if I wanted a refund for the vase, I had to send it back. Huh? Well, that didn’t fly. I got the entire thing refunded. But it put me off ordering remote flowers. Since then, if I’m sending flowers to someone, I try to find a legitimate local florist and call them directly.
Anyway, there will be fewer flower shops in the future. Too bad. But I guess as long as we have still have flowers…
Kiplinger suggests an alternate career: interior designer, which is forecast to grow healthily – and pays better. Or become a merchandise displayer. Rhoda Morgenstern lives!
Over 65 years after Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman debuted, the door to door variety of salesman is, indeed, dying. Oh, the odd Fuller Brush salesman survives, but seriously folks: do you know anyone who’d let a door-to-door salesman or woman into their house? Not that Perry and Dick were salesmen, but, forget Arthur Miller. I’d be thinking Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood.
Fortunately for those who want to sell – but, perhaps, unfortunately for the rest of us – the number of insurance sales agents is on the increase. As are manufacturers’ reps.
Woodworking machine operators – sanders, planers – are being teched out of existence, but there’ll still be demand for machinists. Cabinetmakers – also being done away with – should consider upskilling and becoming carpenters, who, despite their connection to the fickle housing market, are forecast to be in increasing demand. Metal and plastics molding machine operators are going the way of the buggy-whip maker. Machines and robots are stepping in to replace them. But if you’re skilled enough to operate a computer-controlled metal or plastic machine, you’ll be in business.
I can’t recall the last time I used a travel agent – probably when I was working for a company where we booked our business travel through an agency. Frankly, I’m amazed that, in this day and age, there are still nearly 75,000 travel agents. The thought of travel agents, however, does make me miss my own personal travel agent, my obsessive-planner, crazy-detail-guy of a husband who planned all of our trips down to where we’d have lunch on day six. Taking care of travel is a total pain in the arse, and I never really appreciated just what a drag it was when I had Jim doing it all for me.
For those who like to plan, event planners have had a lot of new jobs added in the last ten years, and should continue to grow for the next decade.(While Jim was an excellent travel planner, he would have made a terrible event planner, so the skill set is not completely fungible…)
There will be fewer couriers bicycle racing around big-city streets, pell-melling the wrong way down one-way streets and endangering the lives and limbs of us pedestrians. Good. Let them drive trucks.
There are still more than 150,000 sewing machine operators in the US. Wow, just wow. But don’t start looking for the union label. Those numbers will be going way down. What’s not made in Vietnam and Bangladesh death-factories will be automated. Custom sewing and tailoring positions will hold steady.
Dry wall installers and tilers will both experience declines (worse for dry wall installers). Dry wall installers are advised to become brick masons, while tile setters may want to look into becoming solar photovoltaic installers. As long as there are dry wall installers and tilers to finish up my reno project, I’ll be happy.
Anyway, if you’re looking for a job, these are all pretty much dead-enders. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!