the evolution of work


September 2017


Desk Research, MS Excel, Pen and Paper Sketching, Adobe Illustrator


Strategic Design and Management in New Economies (MS Strategic Design and Management at Parsons School of Design)


I created a visualization on the evolution of work after noticing how job motivations, workplace culture, and relevant skills and mindsets have changed over the years.


Jobs and the nature of work have evolved over the years. To keep with expectations of workplaces and with the exponential growth of the world, there is that constant need to adopt new skills and mindsets as a response to today's competitive environment.

While the previous generation cared about stability, loyalty to the company, and pure financial motivations, my generation cared about personal growth and purpose. While they believed that having a single career path ensured career success, my generation valued having experiences in multiple roles to thrive in today’s changing economy.


I plotted how the nature of work has evolved over the years in terms of skills, values, perception of work, and in-demand jobs against technological changes that happened over the years.

I first started plotting these information on an Excel sheet, which served as a journey map and timeline that allowed me to understand which information falls under which era.


I decided to sketch a map resembling the Disneyland theme park because the environment and location is a big differentiator of how the nature of work has changed over the years.

I then rendered my sketch on Illustrator (my first time to use it then!) to create the map. Each color resembled the main theme of a given period - green for the Agricultural Revolution and coal blue for the 1st Industrial Revolution.


After presenting the first version in class, I received feedback that the visualization resembled more like a brain – an insight which I found to be strong. I proceeded to creating an updated version with the brain as the key visual. I used elements such as neurons and brain nodes to layer other categories of information.