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Jobs of the Future: Style for Hire

One of the jobs of the future that Via Meadia predicts will soon arrive is the on-demand stylist. Armies of stylists already attend to the super-rich, of course, but what about the rest of us? Plenty of average people would benefit from some sartorial advice, particularly from a professional.

Enter Style for Hire, a start-up that connects you to a vetted, handpicked stylist in your city. So far, they cover New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and the other big American metro areas. Stylists offer counsel on what clothes to keep or toss (“closet audits”), how to repurpose or better tailor your existing wardrobe, and take you shopping—all while accounting for your body type, clothing preference, spending habits, workplace dress code and more. They can direct a photo shoot for a small business or help an office team look sharper for client presentations.

For their part, stylists who join the organization benefit from its partnerships with retailers, free publicity and the professional development that comes with networking with peers.

There are other new, entrepreneurial companies out there that connect people with personalized, professional lifestyle advice and services, from custom clothes makers to organizational gurus, and that connect independent consultants with their counterparts across the country. We’re sure to see more.

Those who think that automation is about to throw us all out of work are barking up the wrong tree. As more of our workforce leaves factories and office paper-pushing jobs, new and different careers are beginning to sprout. “Man is such a wanting animal,” Thomas Carlyle wrote. Our wants are almost infinite; there are a huge number of potential services and products that don’t exist yet, but that we will all ‘need’ once they come online. The successes of the next generation will be the people who figure out what these new needs are and how they can be satisfied at a profit.

Don’t worry; no matter how smart the machines get and how many clever tricks they learn to do, human beings are going to keep each other busy far into the future.

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  • Brett

    That’s the reason why I think potential unemployment issues will ultimately resolve themselves. A combination of new Service Sector jobs plus a shrinking labor force (and labor-to-retiree ratio) is going to create a lot of demand for labor and robots.

  • Luke Lea

    These people could use some style advice but I think the whole point is they can’t afford it. That’s what renders this whole “boutique capitalism” meme of Mead’s slightly ridiculous: it’s the average majority, not the talented tenth, who are being left up the creek without a paddle.

  • Paul Z

    My nephew is a good example for this post, and some of your other posts. He wasn’t a successful student but he is bright and has imagination. Once he finally broke free from our constraining educational system, something he could never master, he became successful in a corporate job, has entered local politics, and he and his wife have a venture in fashion as personal stylists. The contrast between ages 16-22 and 23-27 is nothing but amazing. BTW, all this success is taking place in Detroit!

    Luke: I’m assuming you don’t consider yourself part of the “average majority.” Just who are you referring too? Seems a bit arrogant and unimaginative to assume our old and out-dated measures for talent and intelligence will hold true in the future.

  • gooch mango

    You’ve got to be kidding me.

    The chief complaint about the “the shape of things to come” is the fear that those of us outside the top 20% are going to find our options limited to servicing the top 20%… and you offer up THIS as comfort?

    There are those of us who enjoy working in personal services… and if you do, hey, more power to you. Those of us who are not already doing that, however, are not doing that for a simple reason… we don’t want to. At all.

    So to avoid future clunkers like this one, I offer up a short list of Job Traits We Consider Dismal:

    We do not want to…
    … work extensively with the public. The public is annoying.
    … provide hands-on services to other people. We don’t want to touch you.
    … sell anything. Especially ourselves or our labor on a never-ending treadmill of short-term contract employment.

  • Petar

    Why should we create more and more jobs with declining marginal utility to the point where it is actually much lower than the marginal utility of the leisure time that we lose because we are working?

    You are suggesting that we should create employment simply because distributing wealth via other means should not be done – but then again, this is stupid. A far better option will be to institute guaranteed minimum income that covers basic housing, food, medical care and some leisure and leave everything else to people.

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