We are currently right smack in the middle of the fourth industrial revolution; a time where the rise of the mobile internet, automation and artificial intelligence is affecting every industry and transforming all work that humans will perform in the future. According to a World Economic Forum report, some 75 million current jobs may disappear by 2022, while 133 million new jobs will be created. This period will require that you invest your time, energy and money to upgrade your skill set. It represents the changes and shifts we can expect to see within the next 30 years. What does that actually mean for you and me—and our lives and jobs? The work and workforce of the future are two of the biggest trending topics right now and experts are publishing a lot of contradictory information about which technologies will take the lead. How will these changes influence the way we work and live our lives and spot the talent we’re going to need the most in the coming years.
Companies and politicians don’t know which jobs will be eliminated and which will remain.
Almost 5% of all jobs are now fully automated, and millions more will be partially automated within the next decade. Not too long ago, it took all morning to run to the bank and the post office, buy groceries and return library books. These days, our lives are made simpler by the fact that these processes are automated or at least digitized. Regardless of what job you currently find yourself in, you are going to be affected.
No field will be able to avoid it and as it stands, the marketplace is being challenged by highly qualified workers who don’t even need to step foot in your country in order to beat you. In other words, the workforce of the future is border-less. The jobs of the future don’t necessarily require formal education, but staying in the game will require mental dedication, not to mention some of your savings. The barrier to enter into the “new economy” isn’t necessarily high or expensive, but you have to know how and where to cross it.
Remember that what got you to where you are isn’t what’s going to take you to where you want to be. These days, it’s very possible to meet a 19-year-old who already has 12 years of experience. To what extent can you affect your own market value in the future? Can you trust the things you learn in school or at work to prepare you for the future? Who’s responsible for your development and decline? Perhaps you’re already in decline?
If you don’t change or develop, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll stagnate or start going backward. Naturally, job automation raises a bunch of new questions, but what should we be doing with our formal and informal education in this time where machines are becoming smarter and smarter? Is there even a point in going to school? Some of the most prominent technological innovators in the world, such as Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, etc., have no formal education.
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In the States, the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, has recommended that politicians reassess the current school curriculum to ensure that the younger generations are educated for the future rather than for unemployment. We need to revolutionize our educational institutions, perception of the good life and the concept of what it means to have “a real job.”
Four factors that will decide the future of the workforce:
- The influence of artificial intelligence
- The extent of automation
- Whether there’s enough work for everyone
- The jobs we can create and live off
If you can’t pick up a skill yourself, you’ll need access to someone who has that skill. As a society, we need to be highly qualified, creative and able to work with machines or technology. You have to be prepared for lifelong learning. There is no finish line and you shouldn’t expect to be a permanent employee in the future either. The functionary role, as we know, it will disappear.
You need to prepare yourself for “getting in” with the right people and earning your next paycheck. You’ll need to learn how to brand and market yourself, set your prices, close a deal and send an invoice—all while being on your toes. You’ll need to stay up to date on the demands of the market to ensure that you don’t become redundant and that your job will be global rather than local. There are only two kinds of people: the ones who crumble in the face of adversity, and the ones who grow stronger in response to it. The biggest talent of the future won’t be the person who works a lot, but rather the person who gets the right things done, who can handle ups and downs and who has access to knowledge. Doing the wrong things won’t make you redundant in the future; your downfall will be the things you don’t do.
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