The Future of Work is Now: Robocops (just kidding!), Remote Jobs, and The Gig Economy

This week I thought I’d offer a close look at how work has changed — especially when so much work is now done remotely — and what that means for those of you on the job frontier, whether you’re right out the gate as a young’un or changing strides at the mid-career stage of your life. How you best prepare for the coming shifts in work culture, function, and meaning will depend solely on how well your stay on top of knowledge and understanding of this ever-evolving landscape of work. This week, we turn to two hot topics in the world of work: Artificial Intelligence and Working Remotely.

Robocop (I said I was kidding!)

Think about it: just in the last few years, there have been major shifts when it comes to digital components, artificial intelligence, jobs that have yet to exist, and the role recruiters will play when it comes to managing the daunting task of keeping up with the changes, who will be screening you (after, of course, an ATS program has let you in the proverbial door). How will jobs change? How can you best train to keep up with the changes?

There’s a lot of “noise” out there when it comes to advice, but these are among the top resources to check out and consider subscribing to, as they are chock-full of current and valuable information about the changing nature and landscape of industry in the US.

· The Balance Careers

· Career Builder

· McKinsey & Company

· The Muse

· NPR (Stories about Work)

It’s no surprise to say that we’re in a world driven by digital technology. Few jobs exist that don’t require some sort of digital technology (even if it’s only email). That jobs are changing with the rapid technological changes is also likely no surprise. There is a rise in AI which means two things: in some industries, jobs will become obsolete, while others will need engineers and other experts in new fields, some of which are yet undiscovered.

Artificial Intelligence’s presence certainly rattles the cages when it comes to the changing landscape of jobs and job management, but the reality is that for the most part, those changes are already in place and they continue to shift and mold to the needs of industry, employers, and employees alike.

Perhaps one of the more glaring concerns have been the impact AI will have (and does have) on what sorts of jobs will be replaced by artificial intelligence. Don’t freak out; understanding the meaning of AI’s presence in various industries is important, and the information isn’t hiding anywhere. In Leonard Brody’s article, “The Great Rewrite: The Future of Work in an Automated World,” he offers a better understanding of the impact Artificial Intelligence has and will continue to have on industries in the US. An important point to recognize in the report is that not only will AI take over some tasks, but it will also change how we already do work as well as redistribute and rearrange current work and the way we understand the nature of work.

Working from Home & Gigging

Aside from Artificial Intelligence changing the landscape of work, there has been a spike in two types of work that never existed regularly and at this magnitude until now: remote work and the gig economy, both of which are dependent on digital technology. While working from home is nothing new, the spike is palpable. Websites and articles focusing solely on remote work and flexible schedules have grown as well.

This also changes the way we’re seen as workers and the way recruiting changes. When the way we work changes, so too does the way they manage work (pro-tip: click that link, it’ll give you a glimpse into what hiring managers are doing behind the scenes). As workers and applicants, it’s important to know not just how the world of work is changing for us, but what employers are looking for in recruits.

There’s a lot of freelance work and side-hustle jobs these days, and the so-called “gig economy” is on the rise. The infrastructure is changing and raising some questions about outsourcing. This podcast with James Manyika highlights issues that face the nature of the future of work and its impact on workers and various industries.

It’s not enough to update your résumé (but call me if you’re ready); you have to keep up with the fast changes that are happening and be ready for what’s going to happen (even if you don’t know and there’s a lot we don’t know). If you’re looking to change careers or launch a new business, understanding what’s at stake (and what resources are out there), and understanding the changing nature of hiring/what people want is going to be absolutely necessary for you to nail that gig.

Good luck out there, kids. Knowledge is power, right? Right!