Once upon a time, life was much simpler and as soon as you were armed with an education, you were unleashed into the world and free to choose from a profession of your choice, you could stay in the same role for 30 years and then take a nice early retirement package, or so the fairy-tale goes.
However life now is very different and even if you have just reached your 40 birthday, the reality is that you will probably have to work at least another 30 years without the security blanket of a “Job for life” but in many ways this will make you a much more rounded individual with a toolbox full of unique skillsets that will ensure you tackle any situation.
Unemployment is never a nice topic to discuss but job seekers could be facing their toughest challenge yet in the near future with the predicted rise of the robots.
Before you scoff and shout at the screen that this is nothing but a bunch of sci-fi nonsense, take a look at the Oxford Martin School study that suggests nearly half of US jobs could be at risk of computerisation in the future.
However to be honest, we have all seen this coming as the not so glamourous and time consuming tasks are already becoming automated in our own work places and we probably all know someone that has been affected by these changes.
A quick look at hotel called Yotel in New York not only has a self-check-in kiosk’s but also features world’s first hotel robotic luggage handler.
Whatever your views on the controversial subject, we can all agree that if your reality is spending the next 50 years in the workplace, you need to invest in yourself and ensure you adapt and change to the world around you, so let’s take a look how you can help yourself prepare for the future dominated by robots and automation.
1. Embrace Technology
The cold hard truth is the grumpy technophobe has a rocky road ahead of them, unless they change their ways and embrace the technology that surrounds us all, make no mistake life will become increasingly more difficult.
Although we don’t all like to admit it, we are ruled by technology as we become increasingly reliant on our internet connection, even your humble kitchen appliances such as washing machines, refrigerators and even vacuum cleaners are now coming with Wi-Fi options, whilst your infant child knows their way around an iPad perfectly so it’s time to raise your game.
2. Embrace Change
A man much wiser than I, once offered me some very simple “Always embrace change because it’s the only thing in life that’s constant” The world in which we live and technology is changing, or should I say evolving at an incredibly rapid rate, so rather than trying to swim against the tide, why not move with it.
If you find yourself in a nice easy role thinking you have a job for life, think again because if you sit around treading water performing the same tasks without adapting and growing with your surroundings, you will be hit with the inevitable one day and question why you wasted 20 years of your life and now find yourself with very few options at your disposal in a world you no longer recognise.
3. Improve Your Interpersonal Skills
All this talk about software, robots and automation taking our jobs can be a scary prospect, but you are forgetting the most important strength of being a warm blooded human, which is your ability interact effectively with others, sensitivity to others’ moods, understanding their feelings, temperaments and motivations.
You can call it social intelligence or interpersonal skills, but you need to embrace everything about the human condition as this is the one area that a machine can never compete with and could make all the difference to your future.
4. Unleash Your Creative Side
The scaremongers will be wielding torches and pitch forks telling you that innovation is responsible for the whole mess, but the reality is we use innovation (or should do) to bring in positive changes in efficiency, productivity, quality and competitiveness.
These improvements are thought up by creative humans, although robots may be fantastic at carrying out instructions and performing mundane tasks quickly that we program, they cannot think for themselves or empathise with a colleague at the seriousness of a problem.
Creating solutions to problems has to come from a human mind that understands all aspects of any given scenario, only when you have an in-depth understanding of a problem can you look at technology and working with the business to find a solution.
Most important of all, remember it is impossible to teach a machine to think like a human, so use this power to your advantage.
Technology is evolving at a breath-taking speed and we all familiar with the old saying, if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. By following a few steps right now, you can map your own future and ensure you are not left fighting for a job in a few years.
Think of yourself as a videogame character where you constantly have to level up your strengths and weaknesses to succeed, whilst always looking to solve problems in a quicker more effective manner.
After all, if a bear comes into your camp, you do you don’t have to be faster than the bear; you just have to be faster than the slowest camper.