Hairdressers and management consultants are new icons


Hairdressers, management consultants, managers and celebrities are the working icons of the 21st century, according to a new report.

The paper from the Work Foundation identified these professions as the, perhaps unlikely, jobs which most capture the spirit of the age and reflect the entire modern world of work.

Entitled Paradigm Trends: The iconic jobs of the early 21st century, the paper identified the principal trends affecting work today and then the professions which most reflected these trends.

Hairdressers and other "bodily improvers" such as fitness trainers, earned their iconic status for demonstrating how much work remains manual and craft-related, as well as reflecting the importance of social skills and how work has become "personal" and "aesthetic", the foundation claimed.

Management consultants, however, "show the power of the outsider", reflect a fondness for change in modern workplaces and "are the archetypal knowledge worker".

Managers made the list partially due to their status as the largest and fastest rising group, while celebrities show how people are becoming their work and "defy the notion of 'productivity'", the foundation said.

The paper's author, Stephen Overell, said: "In the early twentieth century, it was obvious what we meant by the word 'worker' - most of us would point to the factory worker, the unionised, male proletarian who was the key figure of his time. Today, it is no longer so obvious."

Related categories: Management / Business, Entertainment / TV / Theatre, Health / Beauty.

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