Will Technology Replace Your Job?
As Baby Boomers, we have seen the growth of technology in our work and daily lives. For example:
- fax machines rarely exist anymore in offices because they have been replaced by email
- typewriters have been replaced by personal computers
- many landline telephones have been replaced by cellphones
Ok, we know that new technology is replacing old systems because the equipment has gotten faster, easier to use, smaller and more portable.
But have you ever thought about the possibility of technology replacing your job? Yes, the actual work that you perform on a daily basis for your company?
Don’t think so?
Well, take a look at this infographic entitled:
The Odds of a Machine Doing Your Job [Infographic] by the team at NeoMam
This infographic identifies skills with a high and low risk of computerization, the possible impact on current jobs available, and likely outcomes.
Skills associated with a high risk of computerization:
- Finger Dexterity – fingers used to hold or manipulate objects
- Manual Dexterity – hand or head movements to assemble or hold objects
- Cramped Work Space – small areas that require workers to get into small spaces
Skills associated with a low risk of computerization:
- Originality – able to come up with unusual, creative and clever ideas
- Fine Arts – the knowledge and ability to perform or create music, visual arts, etc.
- Social Perceptiveness – awareness or understanding of other perceptiveness
- Negotiation – bringing together others to reconcile differences
- Persuasion – able to persuade others to change their minds
- Assisting and Caring for Others -providing emotional, physical or medical attention to others
It seems machines are better at routines and rules and people are better at directing and diagnosing.
Many of the professions on the infographic are in the service industry. Most of us have already interacted with a business that has some type of job automation.
Here is an example of a job automation experience I had at an airport restaurant this past summer. On the table was mounted a tablet device which was your menu—it took your order and, when you were done eating, you paid for your meal there. The only interaction you had with a person was when the food and drinks were delivered to your table.
Did you notice that some white-collar professions listed on the infographic are possibly going away are too?
Paralegals and Legal Assistants – In complex lawsuits, many legal assistants and paralegals were needed to comb through volumes of paper documents hours at a time looking for key evidence needed in the case. Now documents are created, stored and searched all electronically using algorithms to enhance the search capabilities. This helps to ensure that all relevant documents are found in a lawsuit and the results are reviewed by a small number of legal assistants or paralegals.
Accountants and Auditors, Bookkeepers, Tax Preparers – Automated systems can collect, store, analyze and generate reports using a variety of internal and external real-time data for review by decision makers. Instead of a large group of people manually entering the data and creating the reports, it can be done quickly and efficiently using machines.
As the infographic shows, professions that require creativity, critical thinking and working with people are at low risk of becoming automated. Engineers, lawyers, doctors, police officers, and airline pilots are all examples of that. Are you in one of those professions or in a supporting profession?
Look at your current job skills. Are there any skills that potentially could succumb to job automation?
Or do you need to work on your creative, critical thinking or people skills? You just might need them in the future.
This post was written by Elizabeth Rabaey, a Baby Boomer herself, is a creative with a love for details. She has spent over 20 plus years working for environmental engineering and consulting companies providing project management and technical assistance on many innovative engineering projects. She has applied creative, literary and scientific skills to these projects to help the client maintain a profitable business operation and protect humans, health and the environment. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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