How do you survive the AI Job Apocalypse that’s coming? For many of us in education or related fields, it’s clear that there’s a shift coming. I have often heard about how AI is going to change everything, impact every aspect of our lives, and leave many of us unemployed. I seldom hear or read anything about what to do about it.

via Almost Timely

Finding AI Proof Jobs

Some time ago, I considered a post-retirement career change, something to keep me busy and from wasting away in the wasteland of retirement do-nothing. Averse to house and yard work, I found myself (tongue in cheek) sending a request for information to HVAC certification:

According the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), HVAC/R technician jobs are projected to grow 13% over the next eight years, which equals 46,300 new jobs. The BLS also states that the average salary for these developers is just under $49,000 per year with top earners making nearly $78,000.

One of my responses included this one from Jon Wayne HVAC, Plumbing and Electrical services in Texas:

In as little as 6-12 weeks you are able to earn your certifications required by the state of Texas, as well as learn basic refrigeration, maintenance techniques and HVAC theory. Jon Wayne Service Company is not a school or an accredited course, so there is no cost or fees associated with this program. You would simply need to complete a job application. If selected, you are hired and paid to train.

Jon Wayne Service Company is a service company offering HVAC, Plumbing and Electrical services. We however only train to become an HVAC technician.

Solutions to the AI Job Apocalypse

I found this piece at Almost Timely to be quite relevant. There’s a lot to process in that piece, so you’ll want to read the complete piece. Here are the three solutions for folks:

Solution #1: For Individuals

At Almost Timely, the suggestion is:

If it’s an option for you, get skilled up with AI so that you’re the one managing the machines. If you can do your work 10x faster with AI, and you’re very skilled with it, your individual job may be safe even as your compatriots' positions aren’t. If it’s not an option to learn AI, then look at the jobs that are difficult to automate, work that is not templated. Trade jobs, for example….

Given my background as a writer, English/Language Arts, and professional development efforts, these are some suggestions from Based on the provided search results and additional context, here is an updated table reflecting part-time roles for retired K-12 educators interested in AI-proof jobs:

Job Title Description Average Annual Income Part-Time Availability
Educational Consultant Provide expertise in curriculum development, teacher training, and educational technologies. Leverage your teaching experience to improve educational outcomes. $62,000 - $95,000 Yes[1][5]
Literacy Coach Support teachers in developing reading and writing skills in students. Involves one-on-one teacher mentoring and professional development workshops. $54,000 - $75,000 Yes[2][6][14]
Instructional Coordinator Design and implement curricula, develop instructional material, and assess educational programs. Requires strong understanding of teaching standards and curriculum design. $66,290 Yes[3][23]
Educational Technology Specialist Assist schools and educational institutions in integrating technology into their curricula. Requires knowledge of educational software and digital literacy. $65,000 - $85,000 Yes[4][16][24]
Tutoring Services Owner Start a tutoring business focusing on Language Arts. Leverage your teaching experience to provide personalized learning experiences. Varies based on business scale Yes (Inherent to role)
Content Writer/Editor Create educational content, textbooks, or online courses. Requires strong writing skills and an understanding of educational standards. $48,000 - $72,000 Yes (Inherent to role)

That’s reassuring, I guess.

Solution #2: For businesses…profit focused

“AI will hit the hardest at companies where leadership prioritizes profits over people. If you work for such an organization, your job is in peril, period. A company run by people whose only priority is net profits will see every non-C Suite person as expendable and replaceable. To the best of your ability, try not to work for companies like that.”

How do you, as a new employee, select a business that’s NOT profit focused? This rubric via in response to my question may help:

Criteria Description Indicators of a Profit-Driven Company Indicators of a Balanced Company
Mission and Values The core mission and values as stated by the company. Primarily focuses on maximizing shareholder value and profit margins. Includes commitments to employee well-being, community engagement, and sustainability alongside profitability.
Employee Treatment How the company treats its employees, including compensation, benefits, and work culture. Minimal benefits, high turnover rates, and reports of poor work-life balance. Competitive benefits, programs for employee development, and positive work-life balance feedback.
Customer Focus The company’s approach to customer satisfaction and product/service quality. Prioritizes cost-cutting even if it compromises quality or customer satisfaction. Invests in quality and innovation, values customer feedback, and aims for long-term customer relationships.
Environmental and Social Responsibility The company’s commitment to environmental sustainability and social causes. Limited or superficial engagement in social or environmental issues, primarily for marketing purposes. Active and transparent involvement in sustainability practices and social initiatives, with clear goals and outcomes.
Long-term vs. Short-term Orientation The company’s strategic focus, whether on short-term gains or long-term sustainability. Focuses on short-term financial metrics, with frequent cost-cutting and restructuring. Strategic planning includes long-term sustainability, with investments in innovation and employee development.
Transparency and Accountability The level of openness regarding company operations, financials, and decision-making processes. Limited transparency, with decision-making focused on executive levels without employee or stakeholder input. High level of transparency, with inclusive decision-making processes and accountability mechanisms.
Community and Stakeholder Engagement The company’s relationship with its community and how it engages with stakeholders. Minimal community involvement or engagement primarily aimed at improving company image. Active participation in community projects, open dialogue with stakeholders, and partnerships with local organizations.

Where does YOUR employer score?

Solution #3: For businesses…people focused

“If…[you are a company that] prioritizes people over profits (with the understanding that you still have to run a business), can you commit to retraining and upskilling employees who are most at risk from AI? Can you help them learn how to scale their own work with AI? It might be more costly in the short term, but if those people become good at what they do, they can then take on more work without losing their jobs - and deliver more, better results for your company.”

For Marketers Specifically

Though I only have a passing interest in marketing, I found this specific response quite interesting, too.

“From a marketing perspective, everything that can be AI, will be AI. As a marketer who wants to differentiate, double down on things that don’t scale. Experiential marketing, where you create real world experiences, will grow in importance because it’ll be unique, different, and compelling. Influencer marketing will continue to grow because personal brands and individual personalities will differentiate from more generic AI content. If you’re not growing your own influencers inside your company, inside your marketing department, you’re missing the boat.”

A Quick Reflection

I suspect that re-skilling to find a job that is AI-proof will mean dumping a lot of my own biases, many of which have been inculcated from youth and cultivated to give me a sense of superiority for pursuing college and university degrees. I put the following question:

What attitudes do Gen Xers have regarding college/university advanced degrees vs trade school jobs that need to change? What might these attitudes change to make them more compatible with AI proof jobs?

Not a lot of research out there about Gen X attitudes. The response, which appears in its entirety below, definitely is food for thought.

AI Response to Prompt Above

Based on the search results, it appears that there is a generational divide in attitudes towards college/university advanced degrees versus trade school jobs that may need to be addressed to better align with the realities of an AI-driven job market.

Gen Xers, having experienced better job outcomes from college degrees than Millennials, may hold traditional views that a college education is the surest path to financial stability and career success[1]. However, with the rise of AI and automation, many jobs that previously required a college degree are becoming less secure, and the financial burden of education is growing[1][2]. Additionally, the availability of “matched jobs,” or jobs that require a college degree, is shrinking, leading to higher unemployment and underemployment among college graduates[1].

To adapt to the changing job landscape, Gen Xers may need to shift their attitudes to recognize the value of trade school jobs, which are often more difficult to automate and offer practical, hands-on skills that are in demand[1][4]. Trade jobs like carpentry, service sales, insurance sales, and plumbing are predicted to grow, adding more than 68,000 employees in each field between 2018 and 2028[1]. Embracing trade jobs as viable and respectable career options could provide a more secure future in an AI-dominated economy.

Here are some attitudes that Gen Xers might consider changing to become more compatible with AI-proof jobs:

  • From College as the Only Path to Success to Valuing Diverse Educational Paths: Recognize that trade schools can offer faster, more targeted training for in-demand skills that are less likely to be replaced by AI[1][4].
  • From Emphasizing Academic Credentials to Appreciating Practical Skills: Shift focus from academic degrees to the practical skills and hands-on experience that trade jobs provide, which are crucial in an economy where AI handles more cognitive tasks[1][4].
  • From Perceiving Manual Work as Less Prestigious to Recognizing Its Importance: Change the perception that manual or skilled trade work is less prestigious than white-collar jobs, understanding that these roles are essential and often offer stable employment[1][4].

By adjusting these attitudes, Gen Xers can better prepare themselves and future generations for a job market where AI and automation play significant roles. Encouraging a more inclusive view of what constitutes a successful and fulfilling career path can help align with the opportunities presented by AI-proof jobs.