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How to resist the rise of automation

Apr 2, 2019
How to resist the rise of automation

Ahh, the modern world. Don’t you just love it? It seems a day fails to pass without the introduction of a new technological advancement that promises to change our lives forever. Whether it is Amazon trialling an employee-free store or the piloting of self-driving cars by Uber, innovation and automation is unrelenting.

But have you ever stopped to consider the impact of automation on your employment prospects?

According to government estimates, about 1.5 million workers in Britain are at risk of losing their jobs to automation. Supermarkets and fast food restaurants have been making inroads into this field for some time now – just ask an ex-supermarket checkout worker who has been replaced by a self-service checkout. So, what can you do to resist the rise of automation? 

Recognise robots aren’t taking over

This isn’t a post-apocalyptic world where robots rule over humanity. Automation, be it robots, programs or algorithms, is replacing routine and repetitive work. This means that you’re not likely to be impacted if your current role is highly skilled or focused on human interaction.

Realise automation has its shortcomings

You need to realise that you aren’t passive in this situation. You as a person have merit over technology that hasn’t been perfected yet. It is preferable for a company to re-train you rather than to bank on a technology that isn’t widely accessible or even perfected yet.

Don’t panic

Don’t fear that all jobs will be lost to automation. Although specific industries may be more susceptible, most jobs will remain unscathed and new jobs will emerge. Who would have imagined that a Social Media Manager would have been a viable career even 10 years ago?

Education. Education. Education.

Research has proven that the most effective way to stave off the wave of automation is through higher levels of education. The better educated you are the less susceptible to automation you and your profession will be.

Enhance your soft skills

Yes, automation may be able to fill the gap in fields that are dominated by repetitive work – but what about its capacity for creative or critical thinking? This is where you have the upper hand. Hone these soft skills and make yourself indispensable.

Although the onset of automation can be a daunting prospect, these simple tips can help you protect your job. If you educate yourself and enhance your soft skills, your employer will recognise your worth and you will be able to resist the rise of automation.

Will the rise of automation impact your job? Could your job be feasibly carried out by a robot, algorithm or program? Tweet us at @otbtweeter – we’d love to hear your ideas on the rise of automation and whether you think it is a good or bad thing.


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