The popular narrative about the future of work is bleak. The sense is that many of us will be replaced by automated systems, drones, or people who are willing to work for less elsewhere. Only those with specific high-tech skills will survive. And some accounts of overturned lives have already shown these fears are not entirely misplaced.
But Harvard Business School professor Joseph Fuller says he has long questioned whether that story wasn’t also too simplistic; he suspected that people were optimistic about their ability to adapt to change. To find out exactly how middle-skilled employees are feeling about the future of work, he asked them, leading a survey with Boston Consulting Group that reached 11,000 workers in jobs that do not require a four-year