I’ve read a lot of blogs and articles in the past months about the future of work. What it will look like. How will artificial intelligence affect us?
Some authors are saying that by around 2030 there will be a reduction in the need for workers to undertake routine and manual tasks. Instead you will need to spend more time solving problems, focusing on people and thinking creatively. Jobs where people interaction is key to outcomes will not go away.
So why are some of us so afraid? Automation is not new. Change is not new. In fact, it is the one consistent thing we experience in life. What is new is the speed, scale and capability of the new forms of automation that are coming our way.
If you have been around even a few decades or more, you will have seen consistent change. That change has become faster and faster as technology advances. Many of the small miracles of modern life that we take for granted are only made possible by automation. Today, we even have robot vacuum cleaners!
The rate of change we experience was once incremental, however the speed of the growth in computer power has seen that change move to being exponential and it’s been that way for some years now. A computer made today is likely to be over one hundred times more powerful than one made a decade ago. Computer processing power combined with more sophisticated engineering and manufacturing processes has brought to life the age of the robots. Robots are able to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week and without a break. The implications are huge.
But, can a robot focus in on a customer’s emotional needs, think creatively, plan strategically and effectively manage people through change?
WILLINGNESS TO LEARN IS KEY
If you are willing to learn, you will remain employable. I like this old quote by Zig Ziglar, “If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.”
There are some who don’t currently possess the knowledge, skills, experience and attitudes needed to adapt to these ongoing changes in the workplace, but there are many more who do. To make the best use of the benefits of new technology, we are all going to have to get used to being lifelong learners. It is up to each of us to take ownership of our learning.
Willingness is key. When we put our hand up as being willing to learn, someone will help and guide us. There are endless courses and training’s available both in the classroom and online, from costly to free.
SKILLS THAT WILL NOT BE OUTDATED
There are transferable skills that will not be outdated by automation. In fact, it has been said that when a person trains or works in one job, they acquire the skills for thirteen other jobs.
If you have decided to have a career change, or have been forced into it by a job change or redundancy, work out what skills you have and how they can be used in other jobs.
As a Career Coach, helping you recognise your transferable skills is one of my specialties. Here are a few skills to get you started with your own list:
- Customer service and interaction
- Team Work
- Showing initiative
- Leadership abilities
- Personal Motivation
- Time Management
CHANGES IN TECHNOLOGY CAN WORK IN YOUR FAVOUR
Jobs are becoming more flexible and mobile because technology makes it possible. There is more and more talk about the ‘gig’ economy. The idea of the job for life is gone and the concept of job security is changing. We are fast becoming a 24 hour, always on society. The traditional 9-5 job is increasingly being replaced with options like project work, contracting, online work and the diversity of multiple income streams.
It is actually easier right now to find an alternative to a traditional job, due in large part to advances in technology. There are entrepreneurs setting up businesses all over the world, many of them completely managed online.
In my last role as an employee I worked four days a week, with one of those days working in my home office. It was all possible due to technology and being able to access my computer remotely.
The options and opportunities are endless and it is up to us to allow this to be an exciting time of learning, growth and change.
There is nothing to be afraid of. Change is not new. I love the world of work and the fascination of growth and change. Designing the Career Reboot programs has allowed me to work with clients on both career clarity and mind-set so they are no longer afraid of the rate of change or confused about their next career step.
Learning itself is being reinvented as the nature of work evolves, and we need to actively embrace the challenge of becoming lifelong learners. Technology can and is enhancing the way in which we work and the way in which we learn. It is up to us to keep our mind-set positive and embrace this ongoing change.
One of my clients said recently that if you hang out with me for long enough, I’ll inspire you into believe in yourself and know you can achieve anything. So with that in mind and looking at our changing world of work, I encourage you to embrace it, love it, and live it.
It can and will work in your favour!
Go well, Brenda