How to Stop a Robot From Stealing Your Job

by Bridget de Maine

Is your job at risk?

Robots_Taking_Over
According to a study by employment search engine Adzuna, a staggering 1 in 6 jobs in Australia will be taken over by a machine by the year 2030. The positions at a heightened risk of becoming obsolete are those deemed to be less creative roles, such as administrative, clerical and production. Adelaide and South Australia will feel the impact the most, with 19% of jobs at risk of being replaced by a machine within the next thirteen years, with Melbourne and NSW trailing close behind.

However, the shift into what has been dubbed the “third machine age” is already well underway in some parts of the world. Japan has invested [US] $50m in robotic development programs and control 40% of the world’s total factory robotics population. Meanwhile, the Robotic Process Automation (RPA) are taking on more and more jobs requiring human capabilities in Singapore, such as banking, healthcare, retail and even HR roles, with robots screening prospective resumes.

From an employer’s prospective, it’s easy to see the appeal; RPA improves efficiency and accuracy while operating at the fraction of the price of a human. That’s great, but where does that leave those of us on the brink of extinction?

Plan your career path
Although you might love your current position, now is the time to assess your long-term prospects. Ask yourself this; is your role at risk of becoming redundant within the next decade? If so, hone in on skills that a machine is unlikely to master any time soon, such as negotiation, empathy and creativity, and explore employment opportunities within those fields.

“Higher paying, highly skilled jobs that require thinking, planning, creativity, and emotional intelligence are harder to automate and are therefore less likely to be replaced by computers,” say Adzuna in their report.

Upskill, upskill, upskill
Whether we like it or not, the robot uprising is coming and the only way we can survive it is through innovative thinking. JobCentral advises we do this by developing our “21st century skills” such as communication and critical thinking by regularly attending workshops. Furthermore, the job site urges us to advance two new skills every year (tracking our progress as we go), while staying abreast of current technological trends.

Find a mentor
Still feel like you’re floundering? Consider enlisting the help of a mentor to help guide you through this tricky transition. A potential mentor might be someone with whom you occasionally work and interact with and are enjoying a career you admire.

Take advantage of opportunity
Sure, it’s unsettling but it’s also a time of great opportunity. While some experts are all but predicting that the end of the world is nigh, others believe that robot support within the workforce means that we humans are free to carry out higher value work. To ensure that you have every chance to thrive in this time of uncertainty, keep abreast of changes within your industry and choose an employer that will help steer your career in the right direction.

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