Work & Business

16 Jobs That Didn’t Exist 20 Years Ago

Jobs that didn't exist in 2000

The internet has created a whole new world of work, and it only looks set to grow. In fact, more and more of us are working in jobs that didn’t exist 20 years ago.

Here at Global Playboy, we’re big fans of the digital nomad and remote worker lifestyle. And, with the current COVID-19 pandemic, we think remote working is going to become even more important to the global economy.

But, it is always interesting to look at where we are and the jobs that didn’t exist in the year 2000.

So, this is our just for fun list of the jobs that didn’t exist 20 years ago.

Search engine optimisation (SEO)

Search engines were barely even a thing in the year 2000, so there was no need for optimisation. In fact, submitting your website to DMOZ, Alta Vista and Yahoo was all you needed to do to ‘optimise’ your website.

Fast forward to 2020 and it’s a huge job with many skills required.

PPC manager

Again, this role relies heavily on search engines, and without search engines there is no pay per click. The role of a PPC manager is on a par with that of SEO manager for current business importance in 2020.


If you were an influencer in the year 2000, you were either a pop star or movie star. Today, with a good social media following, anyone can be an influencer. OK, it’s not that easy, but it’s definitely a job that didn’t exist 20 years ago…

Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)

Kind of the orchestrator of the roles listed above, a CMO’s role is many and varied. From planning content strategy to managing the PPC and SEO, your chief marketing officer was a very different job in the year 2000.

A few ads in newspapers, maybe a radio ad and if you had a big budget, some TV or billboard advertising. Oh how times change…

Web Developer/Coder

Actually, the website developers job did exist 20 years ago, but the role was very different. Most coding was done in HTML, Flash was ‘a thing’ and you could make a (actually pretty shit) website in Dreamweaver.

Fast forward to 2020 and web developers include front end, back end and all sorts of other specialities based on choice of code.

App developer

If you remember Apple’s slogan, ‘theres an app for that’, then you’ll be shocked to realise that was in 2009 – 11 years ago. Prior to that there was no such thing as an app and therefore no app developers.

Now, how many apps do you use a day? And do you even notice?

Social media manager

Quick quiz question – what and when was the first social networking site? MySpace? Nope. Bebo? UH-URR. Facebook? Pfffft.

In 2000 who would have thought that social media manager would be a major job?

The first social networking site was called Six Degrees and was launched in 1997. However, businesses didn’t get into social media until Facebook and Twitter in the mid/late 2000s. Today, social media manager is an important business role.

Virtual assistant

Who needs a personal assistant? Well, 20 years ago, probably only millionaires and other high flyers. Today, a personal assistant takes care of so many of the many things your average CEO or company director can’t handle.

Nowadays, thanks to the internet, a personal assistant can be a virtual (remote) assistant too! So you don’t even need to meet the guy you work for!

Business coach

Honestly, the role of a business coach did exist 20 years ago, but it was very much a different thing. Today, a business coach can be anyone with a half decent track record in business. 20 years ago, you would probably have had to be a University alumni and former CEO of a major corporation.

Thanks to Linkedin and a host of other platforms, an experienced business coach can make hundreds of thousands a year….

Drop shipper

Sourcing and selling products online has made the traditional retail shopfront irrelevant. Today, you can set up an online store and ship those goods directly from supplier to customer, without ever needing to touch them yourself.

In 2000, you would have needed retail premises and storage. Now, a laptop and an internet connection can make you a retail Don from anywhere.


Writing about stuff that you do online has actually become a serious job for many people. In fact, the site ‘Blogger’ went live at the end of 1999, making blogging something that has been around for 20 years. But as a job? Not so much…

Today, you’ll find plenty of successful bloggers travelling the world or living enviable lifestyles thanks to this job that didn’t exist 20 years ago.

Drone operator

drone operator is a job that didn't exist 20 years ago

Once upon a time, having a cool aerial shot in your video would have required a helicopter and a pretty expensive camera. Now, for around $1000, you can take as many aerial shots as you want.

An experienced and skilled drone operator can be very in demand for TV and feature movies. A job that has only become popular in the past few years…

Content moderators

With all this content being created, an army of people are recruited to keep tabs on it. These content moderators are the people who watch out for iffy content online, a product of the social media and content heavy era we live in.

Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

This is another job that did exist in another form 20 years ago, but as it stands is something unique to our age. The CTO of a company is in charge of a number of things such as the technological requirements of a company, or carrying out technological research.

As executive level role, it can be a high paying role and one that can be done at least partly remotely.

AI developer and researcher

In 1999 any mention of artificial intelligence or AI would probably refer to the Terminator. In 2020, AI and machine learning are fast becoming major tools to automate everything from the apps we use to complex systems.

AI developers don’t necessarily work for big companies either. Many smaller companies need developers to work on their in-house AI – a role that is forecast to grow massively in the coming years.

Freelance delivery or taxi driver

Services like Uber, Deliveroo and Just Eat have spawned a whole industry of on-demand riders and drivers. In 2000, these jobs would have required working for a company or extensive training. Today, anyone can be a delivery driver or on demand taxi driver in the time it takes to download an app.

Technology and work trends are changing fast, and with the current coronavirus pandemic, we expect there will be jobs in 20 years that don’t exist right now.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below…

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