Over the years, several industries have suffered due to industrialization. Ordinary workers were the ones who have been affected the most by the rise of technology. In fact, they became so angry that it has paved the way for the rise of populism in recent years. Donald Trump for instance made a campaign running around the idea that he is going to bring those jobs back.
In the UK, the same problem propelled voters to choose Brexit, in a stunning result. At this point, we can say that no job is safe from technology. This is also not a new phenomenon. In the 1820’s, there were about 240,000 cotton weavers in the UK. In just 40 years, 99% of those jobs were lost with the rise of mechanical loom.
If you are worried that you current job will soon be lost to technology, there are things you can do to stay ahead and not become dispensable.
Don’t rely on academic knowledge
It is great if you have a degree and have learned a lot from school. However, these are not the only things you need in life. You need to be so much more than that. You must offer some others skills. You should also have good interpersonal skills. Make your employer think that you are too valuable to be easily removed. Besides, in the event that you have lost your current job, there are a lot of other things that you can do.
Constantly learn new skills
It also helps for you to learn new skills. Start cooking at home. You could be a chef in the future if you lose your day job. Learn a new language. You may be a tour guide or an interpreter if ever you need a new job. Study another degree. Learn new skills online. Open an online business. There are a lot of opportunities out there. You just need to know what works best for you and how you can take advantage of it.
Don’t rely on traditional careers
If you are yet to study college, make sure that you understand the trend in the market. Some people will tell you to follow your heart in choosing a career. In today’s time, the better advice is to be more practical. Find out what the most in demand jobs are as of the moment and what could be in demand in 5 years. You should also find out what jobs could be lost to technology soon.
You should also not rely on popular career choices to remain indispensable. Lawyers for instance have been around for generations. However, low-level jobs like processing documents and dealing with clients can easily be automated. Therefore, even a difficult job like being a lawyer won’t be safe.
Most of all, you need to understand that the jobs lost to technology will never come back. You should realize it sooner than later. Instead of hoping for these jobs to come back or voting for a populist who promised you to give these jobs back, focus on improving your skills.
Featured and 1st image by Teofila1 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
2nd image by J.Conklin (photographed by self) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons