Here’s How You Can Robot-Proof Your Career
Worried About Automation? Here’s How to Become Indispensable
The robots are coming, the robots are coming! If artificial intelligence feels like it’s all around you, that’s because you’re right. According to the World Economic forum, AI will displace 75 million jobs around the globe by 2022.
While it’s disconcerting to think your job may be replaced, especially if you see parts of it already being automated, there are tactical ways to proactively deal with upcoming changes so you’re not left in panic mode at the unemployment office.
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Engelina Jaspers, author of Marketing Flexology: How to Outsmart Change and Future-Proof Your Career, says change is inevitable and often out of our control, but instead of waiting until it hits, we can preemptively initiate change.
“As the late President John F. Kennedy once said, ‘The best time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,’” says Jaspers. “For leaders, that means building a nimble and resilient team, organization and business that can withstand most any challenge that comes its way — that can absorb and bounce back from unplanned change without missing a beat, breaking a sweat, or losing your job.”
Perfecting our response to change, she notes, as well as initiating calls to action, can determine our career success or failure. While it can be difficult, it’s a critical skill to have. “I encourage marketers to leverage their expertise in creating customer calls to action to engineer change within their teams and in their own careers,” says Jaspers. Whether engineered or occurring naturally, she adds, there are three things all successful CTAs have in common: they offer a valuable benefit, give clear direction, and convey a sense of urgency.
Consider this: “Gartner, a research and advisory company, predicts that more than 85 percent of customer interactions will be managed with zero human interaction by 2020,” says Jaspers. But she views that as a good thing.
Here’s why: as repetitive and monotonous tasks become more automated, professionals will have additional time to hone their empathy, emotional intelligence, human judgment, strategic thinking, and creativity skills. “Skills that robots can’t (yet) replicate. In a profession that is becoming increasingly automated, robotic, and self-driving, I’d place my bet on creativity. Creativity is your best career insurance.”
Adopt a Flexible Mindset
During Jespers’ 30-year corporate career, she experienced a significant number of management changes and career reinventions. “I witnessed firsthand what separated the career winners from the career losers. The winners — those who retained their budgets, their teams, their standing, and their jobs — were agile. In contrast, the losers were rigid and stuck in the status quo.”
It turns out that agile winners have a unique mindset, something she calls “business-first.” “Cultivating this trait is by far the most important thing a dynamic marketing leader can do,” says Jaspers. “It goes like this: When faced with any business decision, place your company and customers first — before your team and before yourself. It may feel counterintuitive, but it works.”
Consider Gigging It
From a management perspective, Jaspers says a structure that’s light on fixed costs and heavy on variable costs gives leaders “immense marketing flexibility.” This means they can keep a lean in-house staff that’s bolstered with a strong squad of flexible workers and agency partners. “I call it staffing for the valley, not the peak,” says Jaspers.
Freelance work can be a viable option for professionals who find their somewhat obsolete jobs being replaced or downsized. It can keep skills sharp and help you gain momentum into new emerging areas, as shown by print advertising sales pros making the move into online digital sales.
Remain Agile and Continue Learning
Agility can be broken down into three pillars: organizational, personal, and learning, says Jaspers. “Agility is an extremely valuable trait during times of uncertainty and change,” she says. And it’s both an organizational capability and a professional attribute. Organizational agility is a measure of how quickly an organization — through its operations, products, leadership and more — can change direction when the situation demands it, and still remain robust enough to absorb any setbacks.
Personal and professional agility are equally important and include surrounding yourself with people from whom you can learn and whose values you admire, and pursuing new experiences and perspectives.
The third pillar of lifelong learning is quickly becoming recognized as an essential leadership skill, says Jaspers. “Learning is no longer something we just do in schools. Learning agility is something today’s successful marketers embrace to outsmart change and future-proof their careers.”
So, the next time you hear about robots taking over your job or certain jobs becoming obsolete, pay close attention to things you can control, and as Jaspers recommends, remain proactive and agile in your professional pursuits.
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This post was syndicated from askmen.com