Book review: The End of Jobs

In the 9-to-5 sense, the number of traditional jobs as we know them are declining. Sure, there’s the occasional report of optimism on jobs in the United States, but the numbers aren’t keeping pace with population growth and they don’t take into account all those people that are under-employed or that have dropped out of the market altogether. Worse still, jobs today are easier to outsource, or replace altogether, because of the advance in technology.

It’s not the most optimistic way to frame the current job market, but it is accurate. It is also the premise of Taylor Pearson’s book, The End of Jobs.

Far from a doom and gloom outlook of the future for those looking to earn a living for the next 20 or 30 years, Pearson does a fair job of framing the current, traditional job market for what it is: a model that has worked for many, many years, but is on the verge of dramatically changing. Ultimately the book provides an incredibly optimistic outlook for people willing to accept that the cheese is being moved right in front of us, and we know where it’s going: to entrepreneurs.

Pearson also does an excellent job of framing what those changes in the traditional job market mean for entrepreneurs. The barriers to entry, access to markets, and  capital requirements to start a business are being torn down. The same business that, a decade ago, required a global network and a seven figure credit line to start, now requires less than a thousand dollars, some rudimentary computer skills, and patience. Better yet, you can stair step your way into entrepreneurship today and keep your day job as you build a business on the side.  

Pearson’s book is an inspiration to anyone that has even a hint of entrepreneurial spirit. If you’ve found yourself going to work every day thinking, “There has to be a different way,” there’s a good chance you’ll derive some inspiration out of this book. If you’ve already started your path as an entrepreneur, this book will most certainly provide the motivation you need to stay the course.

As someone that has started businesses on my own as well as for larger organizations, this book was motivating and eye opening. Pearson does a damn good job of framing the opportunities that exist for entrepreneurs in the global market, including those available for people that were propelled into entrepreneurship by an unfortunate turn of events in their traditional career.

The book is loaded with real life examples, practical plans for action, and a thorough amount of data to back up its hypothesis. It’s a good read for anyone, especially people that find themselves underemployed and close to taking the leap into entrepreneurship.

I’ll leave you with four of my favorite quotes in the book:

“It’s only when the tide goes out that you realize who’s been swimming naked.” – Warren Buffett
“I had grown the eCommerce business, which sold fold up, portable bars to caterers and hotels, by 527% over the same two-year period that wages for jobs in the U.S. were growing 0.5% per year.” – author
“If you do things that are safe but feel risky, you gain significant advantage in the marketplace.” – Seth Godin
“A few major opportunities, clearly recognizable as such, will usually come to one who continuously searches and waits, with a curious mind loving diagnosis involving multiple variables. And then all that is required is a willingness to bet heavily when the odds are extremely favorable, using resources available as a result of prudence and patience in the past.” Charles T. Munger(and one of my favorite people)