Lynne Cope Hummell

I wrote a column recently after reading a report that lots of jobs we know today might be gone in 2030. Since I wrote it, we’ve gotten one year closer.

At the end of the column, I asked: “So, if editors do become extinct, and if I haven’t retired by then, what would I be? What would I do?”

Well, I’ve been thinking about that, mostly over the holidays when I had a little bit of down time. I happened to visit a few stores and restaurants during that time, and am certain I would not be suited for a second career in either field.

However, I have heard some creative titles that might be appropriate for me. I think I would enjoy being an “officer.” And I don’t mean law enforcement (that would never work for me; I don’t like guns).

Apparently, officers are everywhere, so there must be a need!

Just add the word “officer” after the following terms, and you have a new job: verification, gatehouse, forestry, detention, parking enforcement, code enforcement, loan, communication, development, quality control, foreign affairs, loss prevention.

All these jobs sound very important, useful to others, and perhaps even lucrative for the “officer.”

My favorite title was “peace officer.” I looked up that job. The company that posted the position really does want someone to maintain peace: “Maintaining a calm and peaceful environment while observing for signs of disorder and disturbances.” This was a real job in a treatment center for patients with opioid addictions. I am most certainly not qualified.

As I have spent the vast majority of my working life in the business of communicating with others through the written or spoken word, I think I might have a handle on what a communication officer’s job would entail. But would that fun enough?

A 2014 article in Forbes states that, even back then, top companies were opting to use “more playful” titles for employees – “This energizes team members.”

I like some of the fun titles that some local companies have implemented. My friend Carol Weir, whose job is similar to mine, is called the “chief content officer” for a magazine. Maybe chief content officers won’t be extinct in 2030.

Here’s another good one: How would you like to carry the title of “captain of live acoustical taming and talent acquisition”? My musical pal Jordan Ross is the only one I know; he plies his trade at Bluffton’s Roasting Room Lounge. And he does a very good job of acquiring and taming.

Here are a few others I like: genius (though I wouldn’t dare claim to be qualified), crayon evangelist (sounds like colorful fun), director of first impressions (fancy title for the front desk clerk?), chief amazement officer (another officer title that could be challenging, in a good way).

Jobs might be different in 10 years, but so will the job seekers. They are teaching things in school now that many of us didn’t learn. When I was in school, STEM was the part of the fruit that we don’t eat. Now it’s a way of learning job and life skills in science, technology, engineering and math.

Throw some art in the mix (as we should,) and you’ve got STEAM, which is not only the vapors created from heating water in a kettle, but a great way to propel ideas across the room and around the world.

So, in 10 years, when today’s 6th graders graduate from college, I think it might be time to retire some of us old-school thinkers, doers, and makers, and let the kids take over.

But they will need help, won’t they? Maybe then, we will need a plethora of experienced knowledge transference communicators.

Now that’s a job I could handle.