Not so long ago, we could look back ten years and see a world with no Facebook, no smart phones, and no apps that help us organize our lives. Now, not so much. Ten years ago, it was 2009 (!) and we had Facebook, Twitter, and the iPhone 3G. While those products and services may look very different now, they were already shaping and changing the job market.
Still, it’s possible to find jobs that didn’t exist a decade ago, although this might be an even harder challenge in 2020. And yet, at least for now, there are a handful of relatively common careers that weren’t on any job boards ten years ago. Check them out, and consider what new jobs might sprout up in the next ten years. Haven’t found your dream job? Perhaps that’s just because it doesn’t exist yet.
eBooks have been around since before the Kindle, but the Amazon tablet ushered in a new age of digital-first reading. Writers have been self-publishing forever, but e-readers opened up audiences in a big way. Services like Kindle’s direct publishing platform and Kindle Unlimited, which favors self-published authors, have made publishing a book incredibly easy. Most self-published writers, however, won’t make much money. That’s where eBooks consultants come in. Some are successful eBook authors who offer coaching on the side, but there are also companies that purport to help authors make more money off their books. Other companies will help businesses create electronic versions of manuals.
Uber was founded in 2009, with a beta launch in 2010. Therefore, 2019 is the first year you can say Uber existed but the job of Uber driver did not. Uber driver would also be one of the first of not just app-based ride-hailing services, but app-based services altogether. While none of these apps created jobs like driver, masseuse, or grocery shopper, they changed the ways people with those jobs operate – and get paid. Uber often finds itself under criticism for classifying their drivers as contractors, not employees.
You could argue that influencers aren’t new, it’s just the name that’s recent. (Dictionary.com points to interest in the word itself gaining steam around 2015.) But as long as there have been glamorous people, there have been people currying (and outright buying) their favor. But one job directly tied to the rise of the online influencer that didn’t exist 10 years ago? Influencer management companies that help influencers connect to companies willing to gift (or pay) them for exposure. There are even managers for the pet-fluencers of the world.
The past ten years have also seen scrappy start-ups grow up and formalize work that has been done for free in the past by users. Spotify now hires playlist curators around the world, though that job technically existed before 2009. (Starbucks has been paying people to curate store playlists for over 20 years!) But one music-related job that is certainly newer: lyrics associate at Genius. Founded in 2009 as Rap Genius, the website initially relied on users to annotate music lyrics. As the company grew, however, they began to focus on creating original content and hired music writers to work in-house. Today, there are six lyrics associates on staff. The primary responsibility of lyrics associates, based on old job listings, is to transcribe new releases quickly, and to ensure any crowd-sourced lyrics are accurate.
Search engine optimization has become huge in the past few years, especially because we’re spending more time on sites like Facebook and YouTube and less time elsewhere. Google has become an important way for sites to get readers, and SEO specialists are experts at how the search engine determines which websites get ranked highly. While publishers are relying on SEO more, specialists can also work with companies who may want help having their business or products rank higher on Google.
The fact that this is a job is itself surprising, but we were also surprised to learn it’s been around since 2012. Companies often use gifs to promote their products, whether in their own social media or in places like the Gif stickers on Instagram. Gif makers can also be employed as meme makers, although often both of those jobs still remain under the purvey of social media managers more generally. And speaking of social media managers, there’s another job that was very much in its infancy 10 years ago.