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How to futureproof your job?


Job security and how to achieve a position in your career when you no longer have to worry about being employable is something all of us want. With the corporates taking over as the major employer, competition increased and with the economy becoming fast and dynamic, multiple factors decided whether one would continue to have a job- recession, stock market, etc.

The challenge of Artificial Intelligence (AI) :

However, a more eminent and far potent threat, that was only a speculation a decade ago, is becoming a reality with every passing day- Robots. With major advances in the field of automation and artificial intelligence, even some of the most complex professions that require years of training can be operated very easily by well-developed robots. Surprisingly, such a set up would also be cost-effective as the manufacturing cost of a robot is far more economical as compared to one’s medical school fee. Hence, it is likely that it won’t be long before majority jobs could easily be replaced with robots far more skilled and efficient at their work.

Most of us would need to futureproof our skills to be employable in the upcoming future.

What is futureproofing?

Future proofing is anticipating the eminent threats from the future and taking necessary steps to ensure that those threats done affect us. Futureproof is an umbrella term that applies to anything and everything that might need to adapt to survive with changing time. 

How to futureproof your job?

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you want to remain employable through thick and thin:

  1. Be surprising, social and scarce-What computers cannot do, should become your own forte. Taking initiatives, drawing inferences from incomplete data, speculating, bringing people together, negotiating, etc. to name a few will surely keep you afloat.
  2. Demote your devices- It all started with devices being our assistant and making lives easier. The transformation from there to us becoming a servant to our reliance upon them is an eye-opening revelation. If you find yourself unnecessarily drawn to your phone or laptop, addicted to certain features in an unhealthy manner, and if your screen time is taking a valuable chunk of your time, its high time you demote your devices. Make them less relevant to your life, restrict their penetration and draw boundaries. This will make sure that AI does not enter the aspects of your life that you do not want to mechanise.
  3. Do not become an endpoint: Does a machine assist your job or manage it? Automation happens at two levels, one in which the entire process cannot be automated and machines only assist be performing in parts, and two, where machines can essentially replace the human by performing the entire task. If you fall into the latter category, you are at an endpoint. It is only a matter of time that a reliable technology would do your work better than you.
  4. The threat of over automation: AI is new and exciting and sometimes we are so spell bound by the machine that we forget to look at the shortcomings and critically analyse them. Many companies and firms have over automated themselves by vesting more into the hands of AI than they are actually capable of. We need to remember that at the end of the day AIs can only serve us and follow instructions and use them mindfully.
  5. Machine-age learning: After all these years, machine age is finally here for us- is fast paced and ever changing. Traditional methods of teaching and learning can no longer serve the purpose that education is supposed to serve in a society. In an ever-changing environment, we need to switch to continuous learning in order to keep pace. As humanities is likely to gain prominence over other disciplines in the coming times, we also need to switch to personalised curricula, online courses and adult education programs. Lifelong learning is no longer a choice but an evident necessity.

Automation is inescapable, but for us to decide the direction and path it will follow. The human society cannot dig their own graveby giving machines too much power and becoming a slave to them. We live in a transitional age, and we have a role to play in deciding the direction for the upcoming generation. We need to be aware, alert and mindful.