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Sometimes last year, it was reported in the news that 38% of US jobs will be replaced by robots by the year 2030 some people felt it was impossible but as it is currently, even the 38% sounds modest.

Robots are taking over every sector of the economy and employers are now investing more in robotic technologies and artificial intelligence to make the work process flow faster and better. From the food industry to construction to health, robots are making inroads fast thereby making employers questioning the need for them to keep a large workforce.

The jobs that have been deemed secure and recession-proof in the past are suddenly being threatened by robotic replacement which is a wake-up call for the complacent ones.

I’ve always made the campaign for personal development because I believe that it is the responsibility of everyone to work and improve their skills. It is a great disservice if a graduate had never taken any developmental course since after graduation. Schooling does not end after you receive your certificate, it ends on the day of your last breath here on earth.

I am taken aback by how much complacency people display thereby risking waking up one day and find out that they’ve been left behind.

 

In the past few days, I have received messages from people asking me what they can do to remain relevant in a rapidly changing world. Now some people have asked me, how do I update myself or how do I remain relevant?”

My first answer is “update yourself in your field or industry.” Do not wait for your employer to send you to training, research and send yourself to training. Look at the current trends and project into the future. Ask yourself, “in 5, 10 or 20 years time, how will this technology affect my industry?”

It is true that robots are taking over but truth is, humans are still needed on the back end so start thinking of how you can become relevant in the back end of things.

Also, other than assessing your industry and projecting into the future, think about how you can become the “brain” of your organization. Whether you are an employee or employer, improve yourself and become a person of value such that you cannot be easily fired. “Is this possible?”, you may ask. And my answer is, “yes it is possible” because other than reading stories online, I witnessed a situation first-hand about how an employer was downsizing from a 200-man workforce to an astounding 10-man workforce.

People were fired from top to bottom but there was a man who worked as a lab tech whose work was “fireproof”. You would think that under normal circumstances he should be one of the first to be fired but the man kept his job. I asked him how he did it and his answer was “they need me”. “I’m one of the very few people in the entire country that can calibrate this machine”, he further explained.

He told me of how he paid out of pocket to learn how to calibrate this special equipment that is needed at his workplace. Today, he’s not only relevant, but he’s also highly adored by his employers. They hold him in such high esteem, grants his request without hesitation and give him bonus checks just because they know if he decides to resign tomorrow, their work is at risk. That is the type of updating I’m referring to!

You don’t have to be an employee to update yourself. If you are self-employed or a business owner, you must commit to your personal development as well. Always think about better ways of conducting your daily business activities. Actively search for productivity apps that can help you work better and faster. Be that one person whose customers can’t do without because they know that you are one step ahead.

Look for ways to be better, not bitter that robots are taking over. Invest in training and seminars and stop saying “I can’t afford it for now”. Everyone can afford to invest in themselves, it’s just a matter of priority or what you think is important. Start thinking of training as an investment rather than an expense and always remember, the man on top of the mountain didn’t drift there.

 

Thanks for reading. What other ways can one maintain relevance in a rapidly changing world? Leave a comment and join the conversation

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