At the start of the year, we are all looking to the future. Planning for our New Year; thinking about where we want to go; planning our futures. As far as your job is concerned, we live in a new age.
Gone are the days, where you started your job as a teenager and spent the rest of your life in the same role. They say that even in the short time frame of ten years, around 60% of us will not be working in the same job we are today. Not just the same job, not even the same industry! ( Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, Future of Work Report)
Redundancies are on the increase as lower paid, repetitive roles are being outsourced to technology. Automation of work tasks is already upon us with the amount of cloud based software that will do many of our business tasks, quicker and more exact than we can do ourselves. Not just the threat of technology, but the rise of industry disrupters and the ‘uberisation’ of many traditional fields also impacts the future of work. The digital and disruptive age is upon us and your job may be a casualty!
It is important to remember that creative destruction, where new disruptive technologies replace redundant technologies is nothing new and the world has survived these changes for many centuries. Think back to the replacement of the cottage industry in the Industrial Revolution, or the demise of the huge Gas Companies and the Gas Lighter when Thomas Edison electrified New York. It’s scary, but it is nothing new.
Flexibility and the Gig economy (casualisation of the workforce, contract workers, virtual workers and part-timers)is a rising trend. One need only look to the rise in part time work on offer. Both workers and business are driving this change. Career paths are now much more varied and can evolve in many different ways over the course of an individual’s life. Six different styles of work in one person’s lifetime, will now, be more of the norm.
So how can we all survive in this dynamic and treacherous landscape? Number one, is be adaptable. This might be easier said than done for some. If you have grown up in an era using certain technology and working in a certain way it can be very hard to change. However, there are many courses available that will assist you to use every new device from your phone to an ipad and beyond. Push yourself to move with the times; stop leaving the programming of the TV to the kids and get yourself the latest phone. As my young son says, when I whinge about having to move all my data to a new phone ‘Mum, the time you stop updating to the latest technology is the start of your going backwards’. Hate to say it, but he is right! Use technology as much as possible in your everyday life, from storing, streaming and organising your music, to your hand held devise and programming your household machines!
Secondly, look at roles where people are an integral component, such as customer service, human resources, tourism and social services. Move away from roles that are purely transactional, like straight administration roles where you do not engage in an interpersonal aspect as well. Become involved more in dealing with customers, suppliers, teams and relationship building. Human skills will come to the forefront in the future, because machines will be able to do most else. If your current duties fall into a pattern that does not change and could be possibly automated; believe me, your boss is already thinking about it.
Thirdly, think about re-training. Now, while you are working in your current role. Don’t wait for the negative possibilities to become a reality; be proactive and take on a course in the new year. Learn a new skill or about a new industry. While in your course, ask the careers advisors in your college, if they can assist you to get a little work experience in your chosen industry. You may be able to do this while on some annual leave, or one day a week for a few weeks. Also look at some weekend volunteering in the charity sector to get a little experience in new jobs. Being proactive will add extra dimensions to your chances should things change in your workplace.
Do not become despondent with the outlook for the future of your work. Instead, take a proactive stance, and look on now as a wonderful time to develop yourself, your skills and grow the dimensions to your capabilities. Remember … a change is a good as a holiday!
Important Note: These articles have been prepared for general circulation and are circulated for general informational purposes only; these articles should not be regarded as business or investment advice. The articles represent the views of the writers and are subject to change without notice. Additionally, while every care has been taken in the preparation of the articles no representation or warranty as to accuracy or completeness of any statement is given. An individual or organisation should, before any business or investment decision is made, consider the appropriateness of the information in this document, and seek professional advice, having regard to objectives, situation and needs. This document is solely for the use of the party to whom it is provided.