“Your talents are no longer needed.”
“Thank you for your time here at Company ABC. We appreciate your hard work over the years.”
Have you heard these terrible statements before? They’re the sound the company you’ve poured your sweat, heart, and tears into for many years makes when they replace you.
However, you’re not replaced by a recent college graduate, but by a robotic process automation system. “A robot replaced me?” You didn’t think it was possible. Read on.
Millions of us embrace technology. Technology impacts our lives in positive ways, but we tend to forget a darker side. An Oxford University study states that as many as 47% of American jobs are at risk due to automation.
The automation discussion shouldn’t be ignored. As we all attempt to plan for our future, we need to consider the status of automation. How do we determine if our jobs will be automated, and what can we do to ensure employment?
Is There a Race to be Won?
The future is scary and unpredictable for those who don’t prepare and adapt to it. Many households have concerns tied to their current employment. It was a major theme in both the U.S. and UK 2016 elections.
The U.S. lost 5 million manufacturing jobs since 2000, and many people have tried to blame outsourcing to other countries as the reason for the loss of employment. If that were the reason, then output in remaining domestic industries would decrease, but that’s not the case.
According to an OECD report, GDP per worker per hour in 1990 was 68.0, and in 2015 it was 104.2 – nearly doubling. How is that possible? Automation and robotics. Even in the service sector, jobs are dwindling as automation increases.
Are we losing the jobs race to machines?
Actually, no. Ever since the 19th-Century Luddite rebellion, automation has taken some jobs away, while creating others. The marketplace is ever-changing. We just need to understand how it could impact our job and position, then plan for the future.
Will Your Job Be Automated?
Regardless of company size or industry, businesses are under pressure to increase key performance indicators such as customer service, revenue, efficiency, and production. Investors, shareholders, and company owners will apply automation tactics to keep the company competitive.
No industry is completely safe. Automation is everywhere. But how can you protect yourself and potentially see if your job will be automated?
To get a great snapshot of whether your job will be automated, here is a tool to give you that insight.
What does this tool help us see?
The risk calculator displays the percentage of your job duties a robot can execute and the risk of automation of your job compared to others.
Jobs that have elements of predictability in the process have a higher chance of being automated.
The calculator breaks down further what robots can and can’t do. Typically, you’ll find that robots, currently, can’t sell, teach, or manage people. They don’t possess those interpersonal skills.
Robots are excellent at analyzing data, ordering materials, monitoring computer systems, even preparing food. But jobs based on heuristics, or rules-of-thumb and interpersonal skills are less likely to be at risk.
What Can Be Done?
Plan for the future.
Here’s a small list of great jobs that require more of a warm human touch and why robots don’t fit comfortably in those roles:
- Sales – Determining prospect’s needs on the fly, leveraging critical thinking and applying techniques of persuasion.
- Teaching/Coaching – Relating to the material and determining creative ways to keep the student interested.
- Consulting – Understanding a business problem, creating a future state solution, and helping to implement it.
- Medical Fields – Analyzing data, inferring conditions, developing a care program, giving medical advice.
- Programmer – Writing code for the programs and the robots.
- Writer – Appealing to the feelings of the reader. What would they like to learn, and what keeps them up at night? An automated program would find it difficult to create this article you’re currently reading.
For robots to perform these jobs would prove difficult. On the other hand, for people, who have done the job for several years, the tasks become second nature. A bonus is that these jobs are in demand and are considered some of the top jobs for the next ten years.
We must accept that with corporate mergers, outsourcing, or automation, employers have no business interest to keep you once you are redundant. You may find another role within your company, but automation may impact those areas eventually, as well.
Ironically, technology can help you.
There are a few websites where the wealth of knowledge that is available is growing exponentially. Use that to your advantage. It is never too late to learn something new. Be open to adapt the thought process of learning how to learn.
Consider increasing your knowledge.
Whether returning to school to learn a new occupation, a new trade, or even learning from other people’s experiences enriching yourself in skills that robots cannot replicate, such as creativity, critical thinking, emotional intelligence, adaptability, and collaboration, is the safest career path.
You can save yourself from being a statistic.
Prepare for the Future
Staying abreast of current technological growth in your area remains a crucial part of your continued employment.
No one now predicts a 100% global automation of work. So, you can breathe easier. But be smart.
Do your research and truly understand how automation could leave you unemployed. Need help navigating your options? Contact us here.
Control your roadmap to success, ensuring your employment regardless of what the future brings.