The Future of Jobs
As generations roll by, the workplace scenario is also evolving. You will agree that the work life your father had was not as competitive or as demanding as yours today. The next generation will probably have the same to say about today’s jobs.
The future of jobs is constantly changing and every organisation needs to equip itself in every way necessary to deal with what comes next. The most evident changes in the labour market are taking place due to the continuous advancements in technology. Introduction of revolutionary technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have brought about tremendous change, mostly for better.
Apart from technological advancement opening up new dimensions, the skills needed in a job are also changing with time. What we once called soft skills, which were only considered an added advantage, are gradually becoming the hard skills that every job demands. The definitions of leadership and management are changing. The future will need much more from a leader and a manager than that which we currently expect.
How is the job scenario changing?
This shift in the nature of jobs that we have been seeing in recent years and continues to reshape our work environment is believed to be brought about by what we call the three As – AI, Automation and Analytics. These three factors have been changing the way people work since the last industrial revolution and are creating a future of jobs that will be more complex and dynamic.
Everything from landing a job, your roles and responsibilities on the job to how your workplace functions are being affected by these factors. The World Economic Forum released a Future of Jobs Report that talks about the trends to be expected in different industry sectors in the period of 2018 to 2022. The report says that these changes which automation and robotics are bringing about look different for different industries. High speed internet, big data analytics and cloud technology are compelling companies to adopt new technologies.
Machine learning, robotics and augmented and virtual reality are also gradually finding their way into mainstream industries. Although, we don’t expect to see humanoid robots doing our household chores too soon, the applications of robotics is gaining momentum. In fact, the WEF report says that stationary robots are likely to be the most widely adopted advance by 2020, across multiple industries.
How are occupations changing?
As technology advances and the work scenario changes, occupations are bound to see a paradigm shift as well. Over time many occupations have become obsolete while many new ones have surfaced, according to market demand.
The division of labour is not the same as it used to be a decade ago. With automation and digitisation, work is now shared between humans as well as bots. The WEF report says that this division of labour could go up to 48% human – 52% machine by the year 2025. This is both simultaneously heartening and alarming. Heartening because more use of algorithms or bots will reduce human effort drastically and make work faster and easier but it is also worrying because this might mean loss of jobs for millions of people worldwide. Many occupations can head towards obsolescence.
The report says that while jobs like data analysts, software developers, machine learning and AI specialists or big data analysts will be emerging by 2022, others like accountants, data entry personnel, or customer service executives may not last long enough.
So, unless people keep updating their skill sets, it might be hard to survive the changes.
What skills does the future demand?
With this huge shift in the labour landscape expected in the new decade, the skills that every job demands are also going to see significant changes. The WEF report says that workers will see an average shift of nearly 42% in the required skills at their workplace by 2022.
Skills that were earlier considered essential, such as memory, verbal abilities, active listening, maths and even quality control and safety, will see a decline. That is because many of these skills will be replaced by automated machines or robots. Human beings will rather be required to exhibit certain higher cognitive skills and social and emotional skill, which robots cannot comprehend.
The emerging skills in the upcoming years will be very different. Analytical thinking, creativity, complex problem solving, critical thinking, emotional intelligence, negotiation and judgement, cognitive flexibility and other similar skills are going to be much more essential in jobs of the future.
What can companies do to prepare for the future?
Although it is every individual’s concern to upgrade their skills and make themselves future ready, companies also have a responsibility towards their employees in this regard. Companies have to train and equip their employees with new skills that will help both the individual and the organisation alike when the change is here.
Companies should adopt psychology based training therapies that can help improve employees’ performance as well as prepare them for the future. Psychology based training, coaching and consultancy in the workplace can be a great way to encourage professional and mental well-being. The drastic changes that the job scenario is undergoing can leave employees stressed and overwhelmed. Add conventional classroom training sessions to the mix and you have the perfect recipe for disaster.
Conventional training only looks at professional aspects and tries to simply overload an individual with information and skills. Psychological training and consultancy on the other hand, ensures that it creates a lasting positive change in behaviour that can transform one’s career. It doesn’t just try to improve a person’s performance at work but tries to relate to them emotionally and mentally in order to bring about a 360 degree development. This is indeed the best way to build leadership skills, emotional quotient, coordination and people skills.
The future does not need someone who can work for 24 hours a day with full potential. It demands, instead, people who can do more than that of robots or algorithms. It demands human connections and emotional skills that no machine is yet equipped to provide.
If you’d like to learn more about our psychology training and leadership coaching, reach out to us at www.pinnaclewellbeingservices.com for more information.
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