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更新时间  2023-01-31 00:05 阅读
本文摘要:I once met a consultant whose job was to find places for affluent children in the best nurseries and schools. 我曾见过一名咨询师,她的工作是为有钱人人家的孩子寻找一流幼儿园和学校的入学名额。


I once met a consultant whose job was to find places for affluent children in the best nurseries and schools. 我曾见过一名咨询师,她的工作是为有钱人人家的孩子寻找一流幼儿园和学校的入学名额。One client on her list had mapped out his son’s life with precision. 在她的名单上有一名客户,早已为他儿子的人生作好了仪器规划。The boy would attend Cambridge university before embarking on a career in investment banking at Deutsche Bank. 这名男孩将入读剑桥大学,然后在德意志银行开始他的投行职业生涯。The child was six months old.这个孩子当时才6个月大。

The father’s hothouse ambition seemed absurd when I first heard about it. 头一回听闻,实在这位父亲的温室培育野心或许很可笑。Who looks at their baby’s chubby face, hears their gurgling laughter and thinks nascent spreadsheet monkey? A year on, it seems even more ludicrous. 谁不会看著他们小宝宝胖乎乎的脸蛋儿,听得着他们咯咯的笑声,心里就让这是未来的Excel狗?一年过去了,这事看上去更加荒谬了。Deutsche, after all, is cutting 9,000 jobs.却是,德意志银行于是以裁员9000个职位。

Yet, I confess to premature thoughts about my own son’s future career. 然而,我否认对我儿子未来的职业也有开始得过早的点子。When he started school this term I experienced a frisson of panic as he set his Start-rite feet on the institutional conveyor belt. 他从本学期开始入学,当他穿著童鞋的双脚走上教育机器的传送带,我曾因混乱而发抖。My job is to write about work and careers, and I am assailed by daily predictions of widespread automation and mass unemployment.我的工作是编写关于工作和职业的文章,每一天都被自动化普及和大规模失业的应验而后遗症。

I find myself wondering how best to prepare a child for the future. 我找到自己所仍然在思维老大孩子为未来做到打算的最差方法。There must be a sunnier path to pursue than stockpiling tinned foods and signing up for survival courses?一定可以寻找比黑市罐头食品和报求生存课程更加光明的道路吧?Most mothers and fathers start from their own experiences — professions and trades run in families. 大多数父母都从自己的经验抵达——家族行当和做生意。

A study by Facebook this year found people within a family are proportionally more likely to choose the same occupation. Facebook今年的一项研究找到同一家族中的人自由选择某种程度职业的比例更高。Yet the research also found that while a son who has a father in the military is five times more likely to enter the military, just one in four sons of a military professional does so. 然而该研究也找到虽然父亲当兵则儿子当兵的可能性不会减少5倍,但军事人员的儿子中只有四分之一不会从军。In other words, most children strike their own path.换句话说,大多数孩子走进了自己的路。

This is good news for my son. 这对我的儿子来说是个好消息。I love journalism, but I would not encourage him into an industry convulsed by existential anguish, frequently described as being in terminal decline as advertising evaporates.我热衷新闻业,但我会希望他转入一个因存活伤痛而痉挛、因广告业消失而常常被叙述为正在经历永久衰落的行业。Who knows if humans will be journalists in 20 years? Automation is displacing jobs in fields from manufacturing to law firms to banks. 谁告诉20年后否还有人类新闻记者?自动化正在代替从制造业到律师事务所和银行这些行业的工作。My trade could well be next.我的职业或许就是下一个被代替的。

I am hardly alone in worrying about my child following in my footsteps. 担忧子女不会回头家长老路的人恨好比我一个。Nick Clegg, the former UK deputy prime minister, told an interviewer: The first, most visceral instinct you have as a parent is you want to protect your children and politics is a very rough business you know. 英国前副首相尼克.克莱格(Nick Clegg)在一次专访中说道:作为家长的第一个最内在的本能是想维护你的孩子,而你告诉,政治是一个十分艰难的行业。


Accountants, shop assistants and doctors would say the same thing. 会计师、营业员和医生都会说道某种程度的话。In any case, most children would rather die — to quote teenagers the world over — than be like their mother or father.无论如何,大多数孩子都宁死(用青少年的话来说就是世界末日)不与父亲或母亲一样。

Besides encouraging or discouraging them into their own lines of work, how else should parents prepare children for employment? Teachers and businesses urge young people to future-proof themselves by studying science, technology, engineering or maths. 除了希望或制止他们转入自己的行业,家长们还能如何协助子女作好低收入打算呢?教师和企业呼吁年轻人懂科学、技术、工程或数学来确保自己的未来。Toy manufacturers and entrepreneurs have picked up on the stem trend. 玩具制造商和企业家们早已搭乘这股主流之风。Christmas stockings will be stuffed with toys marketed on a promise of turning little Poppy or Johnny into the next Mark Zuckerberg. 圣诞袜里将不会塞满那些被宣传为可以把小波比(Poppy)或者小强尼(Jonny)培育成下一个马克.扎克伯格(Mark Zuckerberg)的礼物。

But I am not convinced everyone can or should be a coder. 但我不坚信每个人都能或者都应当沦为程序员。As Martin Ford, author of The Rise of the Robots, pointed out, routine software development is being automated everywhere.正如《机器人的兴起》(The Rise of the Robots)一书的作者马丁.福特(Martin Ford)认为的,常规软件的研发四处都在构建自动化。

Perhaps parents should be directed instead. 或许反而是家长们应当拒绝接受引领。Like Chris Puckett and his parents. 正如克里斯.帕克兹((Chris Puckett)和他的父母。This year I met Mr Puckett, who has made a fantastic career and vast amounts of money as an esports commentator, hosting competitive video gaming at live events and on screen. 今年我见过帕克兹,他作为电子竞技评论员,在现场和在电视上主持人视频竞技游戏,专门从事着一份绝佳的职业,收益也绝佳。

His father is a paper salesman, his mother, a receptionist at the local church. 他的父亲是纸业推销员,母亲是当地教会的接待员。They worried about his decision to pack in his degree to pursue what seemed to them a flaky career. 他们曾为帕克兹要求退出学位而专门从事在他们显然不靠谱的职业而担忧。To allay their fears, Mr Puckett invited his parents to tournaments. 为了避免他们的混乱,帕克兹邀父母观赏了比赛。

Now they are his biggest cheerleaders.现在,他们是他最铁杆的啦啦队员。Some take it further than the Pucketts. 还有些人比帕克兹更进一步。Marc Freedman, founder of a social enterprise that advocates second careers in later working life, reports growing numbers of parents following their children into their chosen careers. 提倡人们在职业生涯后期积极开展第二职业的社交企业创始人马克.弗里德曼(Marc Freedman)回应,更加多的家长追随子女转入他们中选的职业。

Amid the gloom about the future of work, I found this cheering.在有关职业未来的乐观气氛之中,我找到了有一点掌声的地方。If, to mangle LP Hartley’s quote, the future is a foreign country — they do things differently there, then maybe future generations are our best guide. 伪造一下作家哈特利(LP Hartley)的名言,如果未来是一个异域国度——他们那里的行事方法有所不同——那么或许未来一代是我们最差的一行。So, with that in mind, I pledge to support my son in his ambition to be a space policeman. 所以考虑到这一点,我誓言要反对我儿子做到太空警员的雄心。

Who knows, perhaps I will follow him?谁告诉呢,也许我还不会追随他的脚步呢?。