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How To Prepare Your Career Path For Job Automation Disruption
If you've heard reports that robots, automation and artificial intelligence are going to put millions of us out of work and thought this troubling news was farfetched you may have been correct a few years ago. However, technology has evolved at such a rapid rate that we now have the means to automate many of the jobs keeping the world's workforce employed. What will start as a troubling statistic is going to turn into a worldwide pandemic as AI and automation reach more industries and facets of today's
According to the Mckinsey Global Institutes impact study, they have found that up to 800 million global workers will lose their jobs by 2030 and will be replaced by robotic automation. The study of 46 countries and 800 occupations predict that up to one-fifth of the global workforce will be affected. The rollout of automation will start in more simplified forms like call centre work but become more elaborate over time like medical practices. Eventually, a host of jobs across a broad spectrum of industries will be affected.
The jobs that are under immediate threat of automation are:
- Call centres
- Transport and freight
- Admin and back-office work
These are jobs that employ a large number of the world's workforce, and if these employees are not prepared, they will be blindsided once automation hits their industry and not just be out of a job but out of options too. If you're currently employed in one of these sectors and have a strong feeling, your company will opt for automation to reduce labour costs and remain competitive then its time to start preparing yourself for a new career path.
So what can one do, if your job is under threat of automation? We've put together a couple of options to consider to help you adapt to the new job market and ensure your skills remain relevant and you can continue to earn your way forward.
1. Look at freelancing
Freelance is becoming the new corporate with upward of 80% of new jobs being created over the next ten years will be contract or freelance work. Companies and employees are both realising the inefficiency of the trade your time for work model and are looking for an optimised and more fluid approach to completing tasks. Freelance jobs are now ranging to everything from HR managers and accountants, to creatives like graphic designers, PR and social media specialists, to copywriters and bloggers/influencers/brand ambassadors.
Starting to throw your hat into the freelance space as soon as possible may help you transition and even find opportunities to move into another career path once you've built up a reputation as a reliable temporary worker.
2. Start your own small business
It may be the road less travelled, but many entrepreneurs started as employees and either through personal motivations or job loss that inspired them to move on and start their own business. If you feel this is the space for you, start putting aside savings each month as a capital injection for your business and working on it during your free time and on weekends.
Prove to yourself you can build an income with only part-time work on your business and if you can achieve that you can always scale up and improve revenue by focusing more time on your business.
3. Study part-time
If you still prefer the safety, the current corporate structure provides and would like to remain in the sector then perhaps its time to upskill yourself by studying part-time. This could be something related to the company you work in, which often they are willing to pay for, or something completely unrelated that could give you a better chance of entering a growing industry.
Research jobs you may be interested in that still have growth opportunities for the next 30 - 50 years and start applying for courses that will get you the compliance you need to begin an entry-level post in that specific industry.
4. Migrate inside the company
If you're working in a large enterprise or multi-national company, there are often new vacancies and opportunities in other departments or other regions. Have a look at the internal vacancies that are most popular and approach management to help you prepare for a transition into that role perhaps through job shadowing and skills training programs or going to study part-time.
If you've proven, you have an aptitude for work it is often straightforward for companies to shift you around where they need you and help you remain in your stable job and reduce your risk of being made redundant.
5. Move from corporate to startup
Businesses that are most likely to adopt large scale automation technology will be that of enterprises looking to scale and reduce costs at the same time. Corporate jobs may be under risk, but startups won't be, as manual work will always be needed since budgets are smaller and AI might not be as affordable to them or applicable for them at this time.
Moving to a startup has its risks but it can also be a place where your skills are highly valued and an environment where you will be exposed to new tasks. Working in a startup often helps you become a more well-rounded employee which makes you more attractive to future employers.
6. Look for jobs in less developed markets
If you're dead set on remaining in your line of work and feel that passionate about it, you may have to look at moving to areas of the country or other countries that have not been hit by automation. Since we're not sure how quickly automation will scale in various industries, this could only buy you some time to save up some capital which you can use to study, start a business or acquire a new skill.
7. Acquire a trade skill
If you're not inclined to the more technical kind of work that corporates and companies are now looking for, it doesn't mean you cannot find or acquire a valuable skill that can make money. There is a severe lack of artisans across many industries. Taking the time to learn under someone and develop an artisanal ability whether it is carpentry, jewellery making, the culinary arts and so many more industries.
The growing need and consumer preference for handmade goods and work over that of mass-produced products have given rise to an industry where artisans are not only valued but revered for their talents and also paid a fair wage for what they can produce.
Adapt or adopt a new approach
The face of the workforce is changing, and there is no way to stop this rollout, companies will continue to find ways of cutting costs, responsibilities and optimising processes to improve profits. While automation may only provide marginal value, in the beginning, the cost saving it will have over time makes it an attractive option for many companies and as the technology improves and becomes cheaper, it will only exacerbate the adoption of job automation.
It is now up to the workforce to either adapt or find a new approach, so how will you do it?
Tell us your work story
Do you think your job is under threat of automation? Which career path option do you think would be ideal for you after your job is automated? Let us know in the comments.
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