How to Survive When A.I. Takes Over Your Job

Many Americans may need to find a new line of work by 2030.

Posted Aug 04, 2020

The robots are coming for your job (probably). A recent McKinsey report predicted that by 2030, one third of Americans will need to find a new line of work. That’s 50 million of us, and it’s already happening.

You already know that it’s those with flexible, marketable skillsets who will thrive. Even more, it’s those with human skillsets, like creativity, who will stand out from the automated competition. If you are a continuous learner, someone who is serious about gaining new skills, and growing, you’ll be able to adapt. 

We are in a world characterized by constant iteration and that includes iterating our own learning. It’s easier and more accessible than ever to learn. But a recent Culture Amp survey found that employees are least happy with the learning and development that they receive at work.2 When we don’t have opportunities to build our skills at work, we disengage, leave our jobs to up-skill, or pursue our own learning.

The continuous learning economy allows us to have more autonomy, should we take advantage of it. If you’re not taking initiative, you will get left behind. So will your company, school, government agency, or non-profit. Prolific researcher in the field of creativity, George Land, wrote in the early 1990s: 

“Our experience with hundreds of organizations over a period exceeding 30 years, has led to the conclusion that organizations and nations don’t change—only individuals change.”3

Becoming more agile at work begins with you and it is key to surviving change. If you wait for your company to change, it’s never going to happen. As you embark on this journey yourself, you can help others to get out of the ruts of: 

"We’ve always done it this way."

or

"What if it doesn’t work?"

You will become more adaptive and resilient to change, be able to cope with and master shorter product life cycles and increasing complexity, learn more about how you and others think, work better with difficult teams and people, and be more engaged.

In a world that peer pressures us toward conformity even as we need more than ever to stand out from the growing crowds of humans and robots, learning to be consistently creative can be hard work. It takes courage. But the world is changing and the robots, frankly, don’t care if it’s hard for you. Let’s do it!

References

Belkin, Douglas. (February 20, 2018). “College grads aren’t ready for an AI world.” Wall Street Journal. p. R12

Culture Amp. (June 24, 2016). “Let’s talk about the Millennial problem.” Medium.

 Land, G. and Beth Jarman. (1992). Breakpoint and Beyond: Mastering the Future—Today. New York, NY: HarperBusiness.