How to stay „future-proof“?

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How to stay „future-proof“?

The fact is that advancements in digitalisation and artificial intelligence make the labour market nervous. Every day we read about how different industries could be affected or have already been affected by the technical evolution, which jobs will survive and which are most likely to be taken over by robots.

We all seem to generally agree that each and every one of us has to think about our professional future and how to enable ourselves to stay “future-proof”. I love the advice of Julia Kirby, an author of “Harvard Business Review” at Harvard University Press. In her interview with the “Handelszeitung” she advises us how to respond when machines threaten the very core of our jobs. She outlines three possible behavioural strategies:

With a “step up” strategy, we could develop ourselves further and strive upwards in order to take over coordination functions. With a “step aside” strategy we could think of switching job sectors to an area where the machines cannot keep up, hence to a job that is not programmable. With a “step in” strategy we could work directly with the intelligent machines i.e to help to eliminate or correct the error rates of the machines.

In addition to the strategies listed above, I think that there are some principles you need to consider in order to stay "future- proof":

Be optimistic and believe in the opportunities the fourth industrial revolution will bring to the working world.

Embrace the “courage and change” mindset to enable yourself to keep up with the “future of work”. This will automatically lead to “gaining” versus “loosing”.

Develop your skills along the changing work environment. Don’t wait until your current job has become redundant.

“Disruptive careers” have started to rule the working world. “One job for life” is history. Learn how you could break out of your “one job box” and how to adapt to a disruptive career, i.e one that no longer follows a straightforward path. Find a career that requires adaptation to unconventional ways of working, requires curiosity, creativity and innovation.

Waiting for others to act for you is a “no-go”. Get out, act and take responsibility!

Take the courage to enable yourself to stay “future-proof” by adopting the disruptive way! Get out, learn, experiment, network, be inspired and create your own professional future.

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