The Robot Takeover: 5 Ways To Stay Ahead of the Machines and Future-Proof Your Job
Will robots take your job? Not unless you have something to say about it. Here are 5 ways to beat them and stay on top.
Updated 23 Nov 2021
From cyborgs to smart assistants, today’s technology is more advanced than ever. In fact, it won’t be long before robots and automation begin taking our jobs. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s game over for us.
Here are 5 ways you can beat the robot in the job market.
#1. Focus on skills robots cannot replicate
We’ve come a long way since the first computer. However, while today’s technology is certainly far more sophisticated, it’s still not perfect. There are still things that only humans can do. Your best bet in competing with robots and automation is to stock up these skills.
Consider improving skills like emotional intelligence, creativity and communication. Not only are these skills highly valued in the workplace, but they’re also hard for robots to replicate. We simply do not have the technology to artificially induce creativity or empathy.
Improving these skills will make you a versatile and thus, highly valuable employee. This will turn you into an indispensable part of your workplace, increasing your continued relevance.
#2. Aim for jobs that robots cannot do
Just like how there are skills robots cannot replicate, there are also jobs they cannot do.
Careers like therapists, doctors and teachers have a low chance of being replaced by robots. This is because these jobs focus on skills that robots cannot replicate like emotional intelligence, creativity and dexterity.
The key is to look for careers with an emphasis on human skills. Writers and journalists are less likely to be replaced because they need a certain level of creativity that robots still do not have. Doctors (e.g. surgeons, anaesthesiologists) and occupational therapists require a level of dexterity that no machine can replicate.
If you want to beat the robots, these are some examples of the types of jobs you should focus on.
#3. Diversify your skill sets
Computerisation and automation have largely taken over manual, transactional and routine work. From data entry and bookkeeping to customer service and proofreading, machines can outperform humans in these tasks with greater speed and accuracy. This means that you need to continuously improve yourself and not be complacent.
Push yourself to be technologically savvy, even if the latest advancements don't seem to be relevant to your current job. If that means becoming familiar with coding, chatbots, artificial intelligence or wearable technology, do it. This way, when your workplace starts bringing in tech into the office, you’ll be able to contribute and be part of the new change.
You’ll also want to develop a variety of skills, competencies and abilities. Deepen your technical knowledge and specialise in a specific area of your industry, all while keeping an eye on future trends. At the same time, don't forget to work on your soft skills too. No matter what job or industry you work in, critical thinking, complex problem-solving, creativity and negotiation are all essential skills.
#4. Look for opportunities brought forth by automation
The rise of technology doesn’t automatically mean you’ll lose your job. It could also mean the birth of new industries and sectors, leading to the creation of new careers. And if you can’t beat them, you might as well join them.
Thanks to the rise in technology, you can now find jobs like process automation specialists, data scientists and AI professionals. Even in fields like medicine and pharmacy, you have professionals in health informatics to help the integration of technology into the field.
These are the kind of jobs you should look out for. After all, robots still need someone to program them and there will always be people who need help understanding and managing automation. You don’t have to worry about the robots taking over in this aspect.
#5. Be self-employed
The introduction of technology to our daily lives doesn’t mean the end of it all. If there’s one thing the robots cannot beat, it’s the human’s ability to think creatively and innovatively. So instead of relying on others to keep you employed, why not start your own business?
Thanks to how interconnected we all are today, it’s never been easier to be self-employed or make your mark as an entrepreneur. Sell a product through the many e-commerce platforms, work as a freelancer (think writer, designer or web developer), or be a content creator or social media influencer — the world is your oyster.
You don’t even need a team of workers. Make use of technology to run your business and automate time-consuming tasks like sending invoices, answering customer enquiries and scheduling social media posts. So if you can’t find a job out there, create your own online.
The robots are taking over. But there’s still a lot of time until that happens. So use this time wisely to prepare and adapt.