Everyone wants to know what they’re going to be in the future. When you were younger, it may have been something like a ballerina or an astronaut or a dinosaur, and when you got older, it was probably more along the lines of chartered accountant, IT technician, or lion tamer. What we rarely ask ourselves, though, is where our future careers will be in the future. As one of my colleagues pointed out not too long ago, the job of Zumba instructor didn’t exist ten years ago, and look at it now! We have no way of knowing what’s around the corner either for ourselves, or for our work prospects. Unfortunately, my crystal ball is on the fritz, so I can’t tell you definitively what your dream job will be, or what it will look like in ten years or so. Instead, I have turned to some of our greatest works of literature to find out where the future is likely to take us, and, on a more personal note, where it might take you! So, just answer the questions, and see what future job best fits you…

Which of these statements best describes you?

  1. You really love designing and building things! From the smallest details to the largest structures, you like to let your imagination soar to its highest heights, and most devious depths.
  2. You’re really interested in people – you like watching how they behave and trying to get inside their heads, so you can better help them to fit into society.
  3. You’re a tech-head – computers are easier to deal with than people, and you love seeing just how human they can be.
  4. You really want to work with books! The written word is a powerful thing, and you understand that better than anyone.

What is your ideal working environment?

  1. A high-tech lab, where you can see your thoughts imagined as 3D holograms, and interact with the designs at every level.
  2. A secure facility where you can carry out your work in peace, without distractions. It’s easier to help people if they can’t run away.
  3. A multi-million dollar corporation, but one where they don’t mind if you possibly keep cybernetic eyeballs in the fridge.
  4. Somewhere functional, but fun. A fireman’s pole to get you from floor to floor would be awesome.

Which fear would you be most likely to encounter in your workplace?

  1. Worrying how your boss will react to your failure.
  2. Worrying that your co-workers are spying on you.
  3. Worrying that your latest creation is going to take over the world.
  4. Worrying that someone might catch you reading on the job.

Where would you most like to relax after work?

  1. At a fancy party, where you can dress outrageously and eat all you want, all while being filmed and photographed and adored.
  2. A political rally – we must remember that the society we live in only stands on our support!
  3. Spending a quiet evening with all the friends you’ve made – and when we say made, we mean built out of spare parts. Doesn’t mean they’re not still people, you know.
  4. Going home and chilling with your home theatre system – wall-to-wall screens are a brilliant invention.

Which of these mottos resonates the most with you?

  1. Panem Today. Panem Tomorrow. Panem Forever.
  2. War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength
  3. More human than human
  4. Burn them to ashes and then burn the ashes

So how did you go?

Mostly 1: Game Maker, The Hunger Games. (Suzanne Collins)

Brace yourself – this is a highly competitive area to break into! All the glitz and the glamour of a District One lifestyle is yours for the taking, as long as you can keep the President happy. Game makers are the top designers of their field, so you have to be able to think on your feet. Is a competitor getting too close to the edge of the arena? Should you destroy them with an ironic fireball, or go for something a little more subtle? While you get free reign to design anything you like, just be careful you don’t get too clever – the boss doesn’t take kindly to failure…

Mostly 2: Ministry of Love, 1984 (George Orwell)

Double-plus-good! You’ve made it to MiniLuv. According to Winston, this is ‘the really frightening one’ of the four ministries that govern Oceania. With its barbed wire fences, gun turrets, lack of windows and constant surveillance, it’s certainly a secure working environment. And the work you do will be important – helping to re-educate thoughtcriminals to love Big Brother will enable them to better fit into society, which is better for everyone. Just be careful that your colleagues don’t accuse you of thought crime yourself – remember, there has never been any other form of government, and you love Big Brother. And stay away from Room 101!

Mostly 3: Tyrell Corporation, Blade Runner (Original Title: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? By Philip K Dick)

So, designing games is too simple? How about people? Working at Tyrell Corporation will help you to realise your greatest ambitions – whether it’s genetically engineering warriors to fight your wars for you or making harmless toys to keep you company, Tyrell Corporation has something for everyone. Just make sure that your warrior-class creations don’t manage to find their way back to you – some of them are less than pleased with their four-year lifespan, and unfortunately, you may have made them a little bit stronger and smarter than you are…

Mostly 4: Fireman, Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury)

So, you want to work with books? Unfortunately, reading them is outlawed but why would you want to, when you can watch television all day on your wall-to-wall screens? If you’re still keen to work with the written word, you can always burn them, of course. It’s a noble tradition, being a fireman, dating back to the days when houses weren’t flameproof, and they actually used to put out fires instead of starting them. Just make sure you don’t get curious enough to actually read any of the books you burn – ideas, after all, make people unhappy. And heaven forbid anyone be unhappy.


… Okay, I’ll be serious. Everyone wants a quick test that can tell them what they should devote the rest of their lives to, but unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. It’s a process, and it takes time to add up what your interests are vs your qualifications vs the job market vs the company you’d like to work for vs the time you want to devote to your job vs the money you need to eat… it’s a long process.

There are however, some tools which can help you – sites like Career Quest http://www.careers.govt.nz/tools/careerquest/ and My Next Move https://www.mynextmove.org/explore/ip can help you sort out what career your interests might lead to, while programmes such as FutureSelves and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator can help you find out what kinds of work environment you might be suited to as a person. Putting them together, you can build up a pretty decent picture of where you might go in the future, especially once you’ve talked it over with one of our careers consultants. Remember, your career is an all-encompassing part of your life – so spend some time looking into your options.

But if the world does turn to dystopian custard in the next few years, at least you’ll have this test to help you make up your mind. So, what dystopian job best suits you?

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