5 tips to plan your career growth in the era of automation

Career Advice
21 Oct 2022

The Oxford Dictionary defines automation as ‘the use or introduction of automatic equipment in a manufacturing or other 'process or facility’. Automation has revolutionized workspaces and redefined job roles at an astonishing speed in the past decade.

According to World Economic Forum’s The Future of Jobs report 2018, a staggering 42 percent of jobs would be done by machines in 2022. A huge jump as compared to current 29 percent.

Automation also risks of retrenching of jobs. This then could lead of scores of educated youngsters joining unemployed masses, even in developed economies. As we prep for the best of automation to come, the onus is both on employers and employees to reevaluate their work, retrain and upgrade accordingly.

Here are a few tips that could help employees to strategize and plan their career trajectories in the era of automation:

#1. Re-evaluate your job roles

Irrespective of the work sector, it is important for employees to deconstruct and re-examine their job roles. One should concentrate on defining and re-defining the nature of their work. Whether it is monotonous or flexible, self-directed or collaborative etc.

Consequently, workers can identify those job roles that automation is less likely to replace. It allows them to prioritize and re-align their skill sets in more appropriate ways. This may be by adding skills to the keep up with changing job roles or working among man-machine hybrids.

#2. Identify the growth areas

As per research conducted by Oxford’s Martin school in 2013, 47% of all jobs in the US could be automated within 20 years. The same report listed telemarketing, tax preparation, data entry, accountancy etc. under those routine occupations that have 99 percent probability to be automated in the future.

On the other hand, creative vocations like that of recreational therapists, audiologists, choreographers, medical practitioners, and educators were listed among professions that were less likely to be affected by automation.

Simplilearn, an online professional skilling platform, pointed out that many IT related job roles such as software testing engineers, tech support staff, and maintenance engineers can soon become redundant. Alternatively, there could be greater demand for jobs in areas such as cybersecurity, cloud, DevOps etc.

Hence, it is important for employees to constantly identify areas that promise maximum growth. This enables them to educate themselves differently to make the necessary shifts.

#3. Retrain yourself

Artificial Intelligence, Robotic Process Automation, and machine learning are making rapid inroads in almost all the challenging work sectors.

From performing high-precision medical surgeries to running restaurants, robots are soon becoming the new normal in contemporary workspaces. Hence, it is important for new-age employees to equip themselves with skills that let them collaborate and co-exist with machines.

Varied online courses now offer working professionals nano degrees in niche skills (data science, artificial intelligence, autonomous systems etc). Hence, it is inevitable for employees to coach themselves to stay relevant and employable.

#4. Enhance irreplaceable skills

Automated technology is yet to replicate instinctive human skills such as humor, empathy, resilience and cultural sensitivity. Therefore, automation is less probable to affect professions that involve significant social interactions like teaching, caregiving, etc.

Since women carry out a major portion of these jobs, automation is also likely to exacerbate gender inequality. A report by PricewaterhouseCoopers reiterated the same through its findings. They found that a higher proportion of males were at risk of losing their jobs due to automation in the UK, as compared to women.

#5. Have an open mind and embrace automation

Many experts feel that it is essential for new-age employees to have an open mind. It enables them to welcome all the changes that automation may bring into workspaces.

For example, when automated and quantitative trading transformed IBFS sectors, it was people who were quick to adapt by learning algorithmic trading, who reaped benefits and thrived. Similarly, it is important for workforces to remain sensitive to forthcoming changing in all sectors.

Employees need to willingly tread into the automated era of work, whether they like it or not. Thus, better preparedness and planning will only enable a seamless transition.

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