AI Gets More Human
Oxford University professors who studied technology and workplace trends concluded that 47 percent of today’s jobs will vanish in the next 10-20 years because so much of what we are doing now will be automated and replaced by computers, artificial intelligence, or robots. The skills that used to last an average of 32 years after college now barely last at all, with the “half-life” of job skills degrading to as little as 2 years now, depending on the industry or specialty.
The change is here, but many workers still don’t realize it. It is important to take advantage of the humanlike opportunities in the workplace as AI gets more human. Your phone tells you jokes. Alexa on your Echo tells you to have a nice day, compliments you and even farts when you ask it to.
Why Experience Doesn’t Drive Success Anymore
For one, when you’ve been playing in one sandbox for a very, very long time, it may be that your vision is too limited to that one perspective. You have to demonstrate that you have an imaginative, useful perspective, and that is usually the by-product of working in a variety of companies with a variety of people.
Don’t get this wrong. There are certain jobs where employers demand experience. You don’t want to get in a jumbo jet with a pilot who hasn’t flown before. You don’t want a surgeon who has never done surgery. But there are many times when people rise to positions of power when they don’t have the experience that was once expected.
Demonstrating Expertise With Little Experience
Find ways to boost your expertise with current advancements and show that your experience gives you the confidence and insight to use that new technology better than anyone else. If not, find ways to demonstrate that you are the best to manage and lead the people who are using the technology.
“There’s less and less time for people who dig in and say, ‘It’s always worked this way,’” said Shelley Broader, former CEO of Chicos FAS and Walmart. “It’s important to know how it usually works and how it worked in the past, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to work that way in the future. It’s like freezing yourself in an era.”
The way to demonstrate your expertise is to constantly gain more. Read the right books, magazines, and news stories. Sprinkle hints of your awareness of future trends into conversation easily and frequently. Show that you are growing your expertise and ability every day. Once you are viewed as forward-thinking, your experience actually does come into play as a delineating factor. Your past experience then may give you a relevant perspective and an edge.
Coming Back from a Gap
Take a defined time to REST;
- R = Reflect
- E = Enjoy family/friends
- S = Spend time taking inventory of who you are and what you want
- T = remember to give Thanks because you are more than your last position
Then, be strategic in your job search. There is so much you can do to grow your value while you are searching for a job. So take a minute and strategize:
- Volunteer. Is there a volunteer opportunity that will give you exposure to some of the players who can get you hired elsewhere? What volunteer experience will expand or showcase your skill set? And what will make you feel good?
- Get on a board. Is there a nonprofit that needs your talent and brilliance? What a great way to showcase your skills and your presence—and usually in a way that makes you feel great for contributing.
- Deep dive into social media. This is not just about posting birthday photos on Facebook. It is time to learn what you need to know about maximizing your presence on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. You can take a course and then come up with a “content schedule” that will give you a business plan for how you will use social media to promote yourself and get the opportunities you want and need.
- Take courses! Much more on this throughout the book, but this is the time to take advantage of the multitude of excellent online courses that will make you current, relevant, and prime for hiring.
- Have fun. You’ll have enough busywork once your are on to bigger and better things professionally. Don’t forget to fill your downtime with joy and fun.
Coming Back from a National Crisis
No news is good news. If you want things to look bleak, watch the news. If you want things to look hopeless, keep watching the news. But if you want to maintain control over your sanity, start tuning it out. In times of national crisis, you have to take charge of your news intake or it will take charge of you.
Coming back from a national crisis is like riding a roller coaster. You get a few seconds of clickity click click and massive anticipation that things are about to go crazy. A hill! A drop! Twists and turns! Another hill! Another drop! More twists and curves! Then it all evens out, and you coast to the end of the track. It always ends.
You may not have enjoyed the ride and you may be very shaken, but it ends. So hang in there. Yes, life can throw you around and scare the hell out of you, but it’s going to slow down; there will be a new normal, and life will go on.
Plan B: Be the Boss of You
You won’t have to get past HR and suffer the indignities of the hiring process. You’ll know your boss. Your boss is invested in your success, as are you.
Plan B is self-employment. Self-employment means you jump off a high, treacherous cliff and believe in yourself enough to know you can fly. The thing about self-employment is that, unless you have a cushy nest egg, the risks are great. But so are the rewards.
But self-employment is a privilege that must be earned. Here are the principles of the author:
- Make up your mind and commit.
- Have a list of goals for each day and week to keep you on track and more productive.
- Whenever you hit a wall, look at your business plan to see what is not working. Either you need to tweak the plan or write a new one.
- Expect obstacles. They are inevitable.Strong people see them and always find a way.
- If you don’t believe in yourself, no one will believe in you.
- You never know how close you are to turning the corner until you turn the corner.
- Don’t spend money on stuff you don’t need.
- Always live beneath your means.
- Just enjoy the roller coaster