Chancellor Rishi Sunak caused a stir this week by telling arts and music workers who have lost their income because of coronavirus to “adapt and adjust to the new reality”. In this new reality, formerly viable music venues, theatres and so on will be allowed to go to the wall because everyone agrees that they’re now worthless and that any attempts to save them would be utterly foolish.
While this may sound the death knell for our cultural industries, Sunak encouraged out of work actors and musicians to look on the bright side, saying the government has put “a lot of resource into trying to create new opportunities”. Some would suggest that’s just another way of saying, “We’re letting your industries die and your jobs disappear” – but, to its credit, the government has created a neat online quiz to help you work out what other jobs might be fun to try now that everything you love and cherish is dead forever.
If you think about it, this historic crisis is a great chance to reinvent yourself. Unemployment is just a state of mind for losers. There’s a whole world of possibilities out there that exist in the mind’s eye of the Chancellor, if not in real life. Before long, you could be beating thousands of other applicants to a position selling popcorn at a cinema that has struggled to attract punters back post-lockdown, or pouring pints in a pub that’s about to close down because of the 10PM curfew killing its business.
While the government’s quiz is undoubtedly a powerful weapon against the scourge of mass unemployment, we thought we’d lend a helping hand with our own quiz, to help you find your glittering new career.
Answer these questions to find out what the future of work holds for you, and keep track of how many As, Bs, Cs and Ds you choose.
How would you describe your motivation to succeed in a competitive jobs market?
How much do you agree with the following statement?
“My existence on this planet has worth insofar as I help to create value for the CEO of a large corporation so that they can go on lots of well deserved luxury holidays.”
a) Strongly agree
Which of the following growth industries are you interested in working for?
a) Quasi-monopolistic delivery platform speeding the planet towards environmental catastrophe by encouraging rampant over-consumption.
b) Invasive data-gathering tech start-up taking advantage of poor legal oversight
c) Outsourcing company deaf to repeated criticism from trade unions and human rights groups
d) Pay-day loan shark, but it’s on an app, which makes it seem aspirational
I would prefer the CEO of my new employer to have:
a) Complicated tax arrangements
b) Concerning links to the far-right
c) Designs on world domination
d) All of the above
What is your salary expectation?
a) I’m honestly just happy to be here
b) More like a paid hobby, really
c) Ask my landlord how much money they would like
d) One billion pounds
Which of the following statements most applies to your preferred work arrangement?
a) “I am stimulated by the variety of holding down multiple jobs to pay the bills.”
b) “You can’t put a price on having time to relax. Severe underemployment would suit me best.”
c) “I like to be my own boss. I’m willing to technically classify as a self-employed ‘contractor’ to enable a tech-platform to avoid affording me any workers’ rights.”
d) “I enjoy a flexible work environment. In fact, I can bend over backwards for my employer.”
Which of the following would suit your lifestyle best?
a) Repetitive Strain Injury
b) Stress-related nervous condition
c) Vague feeling of guilt eating away at you
d) Chronic fatigue seriously damaging future career prospects
Thank you for completing the quiz. Read on to find out how you should retrain to prepare yourself for the new world of work.
If you answered mostly:
a) You should retrain to be a bicycle courier/delivery driver. Get on your bike and look for work – literally! Experience the futuristic adventure of having your life dictated by an app. Delivery platforms like to flood the market with riders to keep their labour costs low, which means there’s never a shortage of work available. Don’t worry about the high staff turnover – the flexible hours mean you can work whenever you want, right up to the point where you can’t bear working for a minute longer. During the pandemic, these people have provided a lifeline to a nation cooped up inside, so enjoy the feeling of being a heroic key worker, only without any of the job security or benefits.
b) You should retrain to be an SAS operative. The government can’t afford to support most industries, but how long can it be until we’re paying for another foreign war? Get in at the ground floor of this exciting opportunity now, and if you work hard you can aim higher than being a regular grunt. The months you’ve spent on the sofa, unemployed, playing Warzone will stand you in good stead for this invigorating new career.
c) You should retrain to be a social media producer for the police. With so many people taking the opportunity to check out the jobs market, the chances of civil unrest and rioting are up. That means a boom-time for the forces of law ‘n’ order. If you don’t fancy getting down and dirty on the front lines, you can tweet cute pictures of police doggos and bobbies visiting local markets, to help show the humans behind the riot shields.
d) You should retrain to be an astronaut. You’re going to outer space, just don’t forget your helmet! The exciting thing about Britain’s thrusting post-pandemic economy is that there’s about as much chance of becoming an astronaut as there is any other job, so there has never been a better time to reach for the stars.