If you are reading then you are one of the 3% of people that understand that the future of work is going to look very different from what it is now. So keep reading, let’s see where we are heading, it’s also exciting right?
Siri will recognize your voice even if you are five meters away from your phone, that new Chabot feels totally real, self-driving cars are no longer fiction, you can analyze your DNA, you have tried flying that drone for the first time and you are thinking of buying that smart speaker to make your like so much easier.
Where are we going?
A few years from now and that is something like three years not something like thirty, artificial intelligence, robotics, machine learning, mass 3d printing, biotechnology, Chatbots, virtual reality, deep learning, drones, augmented reality, smart objects will all be deeply enrooted in our everyday lives just like computers phones and electricity are for us today.
Where are we?
Your life is good, you love your job and you have been working for a well-established online app development agencyfor years, you are comfortable at your position, you know what you are good at, people like you and that last presentation you gave got some amazing reactions.
In the mean time you see an article or two speculating the future of jobs or MCKinsey published a report stating that 45% of all current tasks could be automated with present technology. The World Economic Forum estimates that 33% jobs in 2020 don’t even exist yet but what do they know, right?
You have got time, you observe that the supermarket just installed a self-cashier machine, you are a the airport checking in luggage and think what the heck happened to all the people at the check-in day gone, replaced by machines.
But it’s only the lower skilled jobs right?
Nope, think again, in 2012 there were 150,000 human employees working in Wall Street three years later automation as cut that number down to 100,000. That’s about a one third of the jobs swept away by technology and similarly you can be the next.
But it’s only the mathematical and scientific jobs right?
Think again, a Japanese insurance company working for Koko Mutual Life Insurance is already replacing all of its human insurance claim workers with an AI system that will handle customers more efficiently. When you see these articles online, they are written by scripting algorithms and we can’t tell the difference between human and AI written content.
So if you are thinking of converting yourself to an online poker player, too late, there is an AI that can already beat humans at it.
First, journalists, tax consultants, marketers, technicians, knowledge workers, lawyers and even the person writing this blog right now will to some extent have been impacted or automated by technology on a couple of years.
And what have you been doing?
Probably watching Netflix at home but the problem is that machines don’t wait and machines don’t watch Netflix. So, what are the forces at play here?
Basically there are 10million developers out there using increasingly simple and cheap technology to build new products and services. Some as young as twelve are already coding the future, even that safe company you work for is under increasing outside threat. And it’s not just the Googles, Amazons and Apples of the world that I am talking about. There are now tens and thousands of start-ups out there eating away at all sorts of jobs.
Are they creating any jobs in the process?
Let’s look at some stats here, travel a few years back to when Kodak ruled the world of photography and video editing. They were worth $38billion and employed 140,000 people that’s approx. $270,000 per employee.
Fast forward to recent times Youtube, sold for $1.65billion with a mere 65 employees that’s $25million per employee. Instagram which had 13 employees was sold for $1billion, that’s $77 million per employee. Similarly WhatsApp sold for $19Billionwith 55 employees and now you can do the math.
How is this all possible?
Technology has allowed the emergence of what is called exponential organizations; there are exponentially fast growing companies that leverage technology and require employees but more tech-savvy ones.
And when software continues to eat up the world, more companies are trying to replicate these exponential companies.
Hire less people but grow exponentially trough technology, as this happens job roles are slowly disappearing and is being replaced by skillsets.
Employers require you to know an ever growing number of new and fundamental ever-changing fundamentals skill, in order to use the technologies they have implemented. Master the fundamentals and you can master the rest.
The digital skill gap is growing for both mid skill and high skill level jobs, before you know it you have become irrelevant.
But wait, what’s this doomsday message?
There is actually a way to leverage technology before it leverages you and in fact it has never been easier to do so. This might seem kind of corny but it starts with the right state of mind. It starts with having a growth mindset where you have the desire and confidence that you can learn anything.
Shift your thinking in how these technologies will rattle and mutate but enrich your work life. Because yes if you play your cards right, technology will make your work life and your life in general much better. The fact is that technology will actually remove boring repetitive jobsfrom your way but only if you understand the fundamentals.
Train yourself and take your education in your own hands, learn to code, learn about behavioral psychology, automation tools, play with data and user experiences. And if you are an employer, train your people online and offline courses have never been readily available so what is the wait.
Skillset is constant growth is the only way to stay relevant in this constantly changing digital world that we live in.