Automation in the workplace is a trend that is here to stay and could eventually disrupt a third of America’s workforce.
News reports about people losing their jobs to robots have become more frequent and will only continue to increase. A report earlier this year by Washington-based think tank Brookings Institution indicates that roughly 36 million Americans hold jobs with “high exposure” to automation — meaning at least 70 percent of their tasks could soon be performed by machines using current technology. When faced with an inevitable reality, the best thing to do is to prepare. Here are some tips to survive automation in the workplace.
Always Be Aware Of Where Your Job Stands
Honestly, this is good career advice for anyone.
Industries go through ebbs and flows and it’s always important to keep track of where your industry stands, so you know if you’re at a greater risk for losing your job.
According to a 2018 Visual Capitalist article, the professions most at risk for being taken over by automation are telemarketer, tax preparer, insurance underwriter, bookkeeping clerk, legal secretary, payroll clerk and real estate broker, just to name a few.
Knowing this information is crucial on three fronts:
First, if you’re currently working one of these jobs you can prepare yourself for a possible job loss (more on that in a bit).
Second, if you’re a recent college graduate that studied one of these fields or are considering one of these professions as part of your job search, knowing this info will help you make a well-informed decision.
Third, if you’re early in your college career, knowing what careers to avoid will help you select a major and set realistic career goals.
Take Advantage Of All Relevant Upskill Opportunities
No matter what advancements are made in robot technology there are certain human skills that can never be replaced.
Visual Capitalist lists some of those skills as complex problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, people management, coordinating with others, decision making and negotiation.
Take note on whether you possess some of these crucial workplace skills and how you have used them in the past. Think about how these skills may translate into another industry of interest. If you’re struggling to find a new profession that these career skills may fit into take Work It Daily’s FREE Career Decoder Quiz to get a better idea of your professional strengths and what type of industry you may fit into.
If you have an idea of what career field that you may want to transfer into, evaluate what skills you are lacking and identify ways that you can gain them through certification programs or online courses. You could also consider getting a part-time job in order to acquire additional skills. You may also be able to build a business around something that you’re passionate about, a “hobby hustle,” if you will. A hobby hustle, is something that you would do even if you weren’t getting paid but you find a way to monetize it.
This is also a good time to update your professional network by reaching out to old connections and making new ones. You never know when a connection could point you in the direction of a potential dream job.
Stay Current With Changes In Technology
Robots taking over jobs can be a uncomfortable thought to some but at the center of all this talk is the fact that major advancements are being made in technology that will forever change the workplace. A 2016 Stanford University report says that some of the industries that will benefit from automation include transportation, home services, health care, education and public safety.The report states that while some of this automation will result in job loss, it will make life easier for remaining employees and eventually open up the need for different positions.
Given the current trend of automation, it’s practical career advice to stay current with all the changes and take a proactive role in learning these new technologies.
An unwillingness to adapt to new technology can put a major damper on your job search or cause you to fall behind in your career
A willingness to learn new technologies shows initiative to employers. Employers will realize that you are not afraid of change and are willing to do what it takes to do the job well. This type of willingness to adapt to change may make you invaluable to some employers.
Knowledge of certain technologies are also great career skills to put on your resume.
Preparing for the automation of the workplace is all about being willing to learn. The more diverse your skillset, the easier it will be to transition into a new job. Work It Daily can also help you with any career transition challenge. Join today and have access to one-on-one career coaching and resume, cover letter and career advice.