HOW’D YOU SCORE THAT GIG?, July 2008 — “When I was writing this book, countless people asked me which job I thought was the coolest,” explains author Alexandra Levit in her new book, How’d You Score That Gig? — A Guide to the Coolest Jobs, and How To Get Them. “And while I certainly tried hard not to play favorites, I couldn’t help being especially intrigued by this one.”
She’s talking about the job described starting on page 224: futurist. It’s one of 65 gigs she lists in the eight-chapter book, which offers career advice based on seven personality types: adventurer, creator, data head, entrepreneur, investigator, networker, and nurturer.
A futurist, Levit says, is a job for an investigator — “the ones always the asking the teacher questions, and the ones you wanted to get on your team for group projects because they were so darn smart and motivated.”
She starts off the section with a quote from Social Technologies’ futurist Josh Calder.
A futurist must be inquisitive and open to diverse viewpoints. If you think the world is black-and-white, you will not do very well understanding it, because it isn’t. The future is not found in one ideology or one book. You need to be ready to listen, because getting more viewpoints will always improve your grasp of future possibilities. You should be optimistic on some level, so that you can help people prepare for and shape better futures, while not being blind to real problems.
Levit writes: As a futurist for Washington-based firm Social Technologies … Josh spends his days trying to discover what is changing in the world and what that means for the future. “I devote part of each day to learning: looking at that day’s flow of scan hits to see what they might hint about the future,” Josh says. …. “I feel that it is a privilege to know a little bit about the future—with only the slight downside that we sometimes have to wait a while for things we know are coming.”