Technological advancements generally render the more traditional jobs obsolete. There’s this wonderful line from William Gibson, the science-fiction writer. He said,
The future is here, it’s just not evenly distributed yet.
It’s true of the jobs industry. This isn’t a latest phenomenon.
15-20 years ago a lot of people were still involved in agriculture. Then came the machines and there aren’t as many people required as there used to be. It took a long time for that shift to happen, but people eventually picked up work in non-agricultural industries.
However, the exponentiation Moore’s law means people today have to be more adaptable as the rate of change increases.
Disruptive technology is rapidly encroaching various industries. These will make the more traditional jobs obsolete. It goes without saying, that you have to pick up a new skill, each year, to stay relevant.
But I propose a more simpler way of looking at the problem and keeping yourself relevant to the your industry.
Try to put your current self out of job each year.
What the heck am I smoking?
… hear me out
Here’s a generic image of each individual’s current situation.
- You have daily / weekly tasks you have to do (green)
- Other tasks you learnt / know how to do (black outline)
- All the other things that need doing (red)
There are tasks you do day-in day-out and these are the ones you will have to keep doing. One can argue, “this is what you are paid to do”.
Now, if you were focusing on putting your current self out of job. What you should do is, look for ways to automate what you currently do.
..and once you automate your tasks or improve processes to lean them out, then move on. And when I say move on, I mean move onto the “things that need doing” in the red bubble.
This way, you will stay relevant to the business. And at the same time embrace technology to make the place more efficient.
The truth is, with or without you, someone out there is creating the disruptive technology to automate what you currently do.
Ahemm… look at UBER. They are a killer startup and they’ve already started working on how to remove drivers and embrace self-driving cars. If a $50B company can do that think about how easy it is to replace what you do.
From this moment onwards, focus on putting your current self out of job. Take on new opportunities and even it would be even better if you go and make those opportunities.
Let me know in comments what you think about this strategy. Am I being too crazy? And share this post with your friends and colleagues to hear what they think!
P.P.S – I love writing disruptive stories, like in 2015 when I advised This Year At Work, Create Problems