The rise of the machines is here. We live in a more and more automated world. Work is changing. According to the World Economic Forum Future of Jobs Report 2018, 75 million jobs may be displaced by 2022. In parallel, 133 million new roles may emerge. Those positions will be different: McKinsey studies confirm that physical, manual and basic cognitive skills are declining, while higher cognitive, technological, social and emotional will be growing.
What does it mean for you?
If you feel that your role may disappear or may be affected by automation, this is the time to reinvent yourself. And you are not alone: no less than 54% of all employees will require significant re- and upskilling by 2022.
Good news is that this shift can lead to better job satisfaction. Indeed, Research Institute of Science and Technology for Society (RISTEX) of the Japan Science and Technology Agency implemented an original survey of approximately 10,000 workers and analysed the impact of new information technologies on approaches on working and on well-being. One interesting finding is that the further information technologies such as AI are adopted, the more substantial the increase in worker job satisfaction. The reason is that a consequence of AI taking basic, manual and repetitive tasks, people are taking care of more complex decisions, unlocking their potential and filling more fulfilled.
How can you reinvent yourself?
It is complex to switch careers or to jump from one job to a different one. I know it because it happened to me. I had a role which was at risk of automation and decided to get a different direction. In this plan, I summarize all my learnings:
1 – Get inspired
Take your time to understand what is happening in your area. Or in another field which attracts you. Remember, this is your chance to switch careers. What are the trends? Watch TED talks on your topic. Read. If you have a background in HR, Finance, Marketing, Sales…try to find out what are the AI trends in those areas. If you love animals, cars or sports, find out what the digital world is bringing there. Write down your ideas and thoughts. What resonates with you?
2 – Find your self-direction
Set your goal and next steps. Reflect on your strengths. Find your opportunities. Create your development plan and commit to it. Having a plan will help you to achieve your goals and writing it down will keep you focused on staying on track. Ask yourself and write down (1) Where do you want to be, (2) What do you need to improve and (3) Action Plan per area you want to focus. In the action plan, decide SMART goals for the first three months and the whole year.
3 – Build your learning plan
Understand your learning style and take advantage of it. Have you stopped to think if you pick up information better by reading, watching a video or listening to a podcast? I recommend using this Kolb questionnaire or this online test to find out your best way. Reflect on it. The digital world brings us high-quality training anywhere, for example, Coursera, Future Learn, Udemy. It is also essential you decide when works best for you. Is it in the mornings, during the day, in the evenings? Are you an early bird or a night owl? If the platform is suitable for mobile learning, can you use your commuting time? Planning is necessary. You should not leave it for the moment “when you are free”. Schedule the learning moments in your calendar.
4 – Network online and offline
Identify a network with common interests. It can be online through communities like LinkedIn. You should also understand what is happening around you: from conferences in your area of interest to meetups or eventbrite events. I recommend you create conscious appointments for networking. Identify each week somebody you want to reach. Schedule a meeting and prepare open questions in advance. Fit at least one event per month in your schedule. My best decision was to consider volunteering and joining different associations which resonate with your goals and interests. In my case, I am part of Women in Big Data. It has been an incredibly rewarding journey.
5 – Share your knowledge
Sharing what you know benefits the society, your organisation, the people around you and ultimately yourself. It is critical for your advancement. You have gained knowledge in previous steps: now is the time to engage your friends and colleagues in meaningful conversations. You will learn from different perspectives and challenging questions. And a final tip: there is no need to be the most subject matter expert to share about a topic. Set the right expectations, understand that it is a process, and you will become better.
Arianna Huffington posted why AI Can Be a Moonshot for Global Health and Well-being. AI is also displacing redundant tasks and bringing new roles which require higher cognitive, technological, social and emotional skills and allow us to unlock our full potential. We need to follow a plan, one step at a time, to reinvent ourselves and make the best out of the opportunities in the new digital world.
Are you ready?