Will a robot take your job? It might sound like a question out of a sci-fi movie (it probably does because it is) but, it’s quickly becoming reality. While I’m a futurist at my core, in my heart I feel that robots should only take jobs we CAN’T do. I believe they should support us to be better … not to be gone!
But … not everyone thinks like I do. In fact, a recent Time article includes an interactive search widget that lets you know if your job is next. (Real estate brokers’ jobs are safer than 40.4% of other jobs —in case you were wondering!)
If done with people in mind, we should love when artificial intelligence, virtual reality and other forms of technology make our jobs easier —we should embrace it. Fighting the change only sets us back and it hinders our ability to stay relevant. Besides, what’s wrong with “outsourcing” our most monotonous and time consuming jobs to technology? When we do, we can then focus on and prioritize the tasks where we can add the most value. (And, that’s a win-win for everyone!)
If you’re feeling a little threatened —don’t be. A McKinsey study says that less than 5% of jobs can be completely replaced by technology, yet nearly every job involves tasks that robots could learn to do. I’d venture to say that those of us who embrace the change, leverage the new technology and keep looking for ways to innovate inside our professional realm will be able to withstand the corporate robot apocalypse.
Here are a few of my thoughts on the matter:
#1. Know your place …
Be proactive. Research, learn and understand how technology is impacting your particular industry and role. Don’t be blind to the change. If you let change slap you in the face or (as they say) burry your head in the sand ... you’re more likely to be very disappointed in the future. If technology is going to change your profession, being ready and able to adapt will keep you above water.
#2. Embrace the change ...
When change comes (and we all know it will), don’t be afraid to embrace it. Let technology make your job easier. Let it take over some of the tasks that kept you from being able to truly show your value. We all complain constantly about the stuff that is the minutia part of our jobs. Spend your newfound time on initiatives that will truly make you indispensable. Don’t fight it.
#3. Preach it ...
Be the change that you want to see in the world. Okay, that’s a little over the top —but sharing technology trends with your colleagues (being an innovator) and collaborating with them can open doors in your career. Being a valuable resource on how technology is changing your industry can be just the leverage you need to stay relevant. (Just be sure you’re doing it out of true passion and from a place of humility.)
#4. Leverage tech to your advantage …
Lastly, be ready to leverage technology to your advantage. Find was to let technology help you be more organized, more productive, more focused … When you do, you can turn your focus to more important tasks and can free up more of your time to find balance in both your professional and personal your life.
So, we are at a tipping point and the robot train has left the station. This is going to be a very interesting time for all of us and the more you decide to be part of it (yes, it's a decision) the more likely you will have the very job you love for a long time to come.