Monday morning, I arrived at the office to start the working week. I carried out my morning ritual of turning on my laptop and whilst waiting for it to run it boot up process and load all of its resident security and authorisation software, I grabbed my morning coffee. Upon returning to my desk and logging on, a message popped up for me to go and see my manager.
Knocking on her door, she invited me in, morning pleasantries and what did you do at the weekend conversation, she proceeded to tell me some bad news.
“I`m sorry but we are going to have to let you go. Your employment with the company is being terminated with immediate effect.”
There followed what felt like a long pause as this news sank in.
She continued “As you may know we have been working on a programme of automation within the business and there is now an automated process doing your job.”
I felt the ground open up beneath me and the huge sinking feeling cover my whole body.
I’d been replaced by a robot. Not a shinny looking Sci-Fi robot but a series of robotic processes had replaced me.
I was left asking myself a number of questions….. Why me? Where had I gone wrong? what could I have done? What should I do now?
Okay the above is a story (I haven’t lost my job not as far as I know), but it’s a conversation that people fear may happen with the innovation in todays world.
The world of computing, robots, robotic process automation machine learning and artificial intelligence is progressing at a rate where it could enhance jobs (Cobots) and maybe in the future replace some jobs altogether.
So what can you do to stop this happening in the future? The key to this question lies with you. You have to have the right mindset and look at continuous learning and reinvention at a personal level.
Standing still in a job is no longer a safe place. The old utopia of a job for life as definitely expired (there may be one or two exceptions to this rule) but in the main its true.
Where ever you are in your career, you need to keep your skills up to date. The younger generations get this concept as they are growing up with it and its enforced from leaving school. The middle and older generations did do this but for the majority a level of complacency kicks in and you reach a plateau where you feel that learning anything new isn’t for you. Why should you spend your own personal time and money investing in your future.
Personal investment in time and some cost might seem like an invasion into your own “Personal Time”, but workplaces are changing/have changed to expect this as others are already doing this.
Access to information, training/courses has changed dramatically over the years with the internet and the growth in free online courses. There are lots of places you can gain skills and knowledge without spending much money or none at all. The ability to buy a full set of AWS or Microsoft course for £10.00 which would have been a lot more in the past (and have to be done in a classroom) is driving an explosion of certified individuals coming on to the market from leaving school, college, university. Experience does play a part in this, however this can be gained online these days. Its not the same for all industries though as some do require apprenticeships to gather the rights skills, but do you know the latest methods and skills to keep up?
Is the investment in time and money really worth it. Would you rather spend that £10.00 on something else and your time doing something else. Yes most probably, but what is the long term investment? For me it’s being employable and keeping the rest of my salary coming in.
Next time your sat on your couch watching TV, think could I invest this time more productively, then watch TV later as a reward for doing that bit of learning?
So you have been investing in your skillset and learning new things. How could that initial conversation have changed.
Monday morning, I arrived at the office to start the working week. I carried out my morning ritual of turning on my laptop and whilst waiting for it to run it boot up process and load all of its resident security and authorisation software, I grabbed my morning coffee. Upon returning to my desk and logging on, a message popped up from my Cobot/Automated Process for me to check some things that it couldn’t understand. I will enter the correct parameters this morning so the ML/AI engine can solve these issues in the future.. Also my manager wants to see me.
Knocking on her door, she invited me in, morning pleasantries and what did you do at the weekend conversation, I proceeded to explain my next idea for automating one of the existing processes and how I could reinvest my time in looking at additional process automation in the business, also doing some R&D into a new product that could help the business increase sales.
“That’s great news. When can you have the details ready by? Congratulations on your latest qualification, we could use your new skills on the Advent project. Would you like to do some work on that project?”
I go back to my desk and start to drink my now warm coffee, with the new tasks in hand and set my skills on changing the ML/AI engine to assist me further to allow some time to further my training on a new course that I want to do.
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