Wednesday, September 30, 2020

The future of work

Jul 01. 2018
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By By Thiraya Thiranakanat
Special to The Nation

Artificial Intelligence, robotics and machine learning are now frequently-used vocabulary, and as they become integrated into our lives we soon won’t be able to live without them. Like it or not, these technologies will drastically change the future of work. As thousands of jobs are automated, the job market will become extremely dynamic.

As we have already seen, some so-called “secure” jobs have recently been replaced. For instance, bank tellers are largely replaced by ATM and online banking; online customer service personnel are replaced by chatbot. 

A number of the world’s most influential people believe that in the foreseeable future all jobs will be lost to machines and all human beings will be living on basic welfare. 

However, I’m a strong believer that there will still be some jobs where a robot will never be able to beat people, especially those requiring compassion and a human touch such as psychologists and caretakers. Moreover, as humans and machines have different strengths, even though a machine can beat a human one-on-one in Go and in online games, several studies have proved that complicated tasks are best handled by a team that has both machines and people working together.

Nonetheless, it’s inevitable that substantial numbers of jobs will be lost. There will be huge unemployment in the coming five years. So, how can we prepare ourselves not to be one of those left unemployed? 

First, we must perform exceptionally well at whatever we do. 

Even in a repetitive job that machine a might have done better, such as cleaning a toilet, an exceptional cleaner like those employed at Japanese airports who consider themselves serving customers with an exceptional level of service, won’t be replaced by a robot. 

And to do that, you need to be passionate about your job. 

Second, we need to never stop learning, acquiring new skills, and to keep challenging ourselves and pushing our boundaries. Those with continuous self-improvement will definitely be less likely to be replaced. 

Even if unfortunate things happen, you will already be comfortable in being uncomfortable and ready to learn new things to perform well in your next job.

Third, we need to possess a growth mindset and always take feedback and suggestions as gifts. No matter where they come from, bosses, mentors, parents or even subordinates, we should listen to them and use them to make us a better person. If you can make potential employers want to hang out with you, your chances of landing a job will skyrocket. Fourth, we need to keep ourselves up to date, especially about new careers. It will help you prepare for your next move before it’s too late. 

Above all, know what you want in life and which types of careers can serve your goals and personal core values. Because when you are working in a career that can serve your personal core values, you will be fulfilled and more likely to be passionate about the job and perform exceptionally well.

In order to know this, you might use the Career Design Framework developed by CareerVisa to analyse yourself and careers in five shades: skills and interests, personality and people you want to be surrounded with, working conditions, lifestyle and personal core values.

To analyse your target careers, you need accurate information and insights from professionals with real work experience in the field. If you don’t know where to start, visit the CareerVisa Thailand Facebook fanpage.

Thiraya Thiranakanat is co-founder and chief executive officer, CareerVisa Digital, a start-up in dtac Accelerate 

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