The future of work

Do you fear the rise of exponential technology and its potential to take over all our jobs? Do you worry that no matter how good you are and how experienced, a computer will eventually do your job better than you? I hate to say this, but you’re probably right. But once we acknowledge this, we can start thinking about the opportunities that will be presented to us. We must contemplate what is our role in this world now, and where will we be in thirty years? What will become of software developers, of engineers, of technology? One thing is certain, we must keep an open mind.

Never in the history of mankind has the present been so temporary. ~ Martin Wezowski

What does this mean? As modern and advanced as the world has become, it’s of the utmost importance that we bring our values back to our roots. We must not skip steps in our learning process. Solid foundations will give you flexibility and opportunity to succeed. If you want to be a software developer for example, it is tempting jump right into a high level programming language, but you can’t expect on becoming an expert programmer by neglecting the basics like OOP and algorithms. What we know is becoming less important than what we can learn. To drive forward we need flexibility, adaptability and willingness to accept change. We must remain open to new knowledge that would allow us to create strong foundations and build from the ground up. The problems of our age are getting more complex than ever before and to solve them our approach must come from different angles. We have to develop skills in different fields.

Computers are useless, all they have is answers. ~ Pablo Picasso

With technology moving boldly forward, what will our jobs become? How do we introduce value to the world? What do we bring to the table? How do we get a job? What will that job be? As computers become more sophisticated the repeating processes of day-to-day work and the multitude of menial tasks are becoming unnecessary for us to perform. Our true value lies in creativity, in imagination — not only in the answers we discover and the solutions we implement, but also in the search for questions and our capacity to define problems.

Everybody’s talking about technology augmenting humans. How about humans augmenting humans? ~ John Hagel

Even in today’s world, the 10 most desired job skills are communication, teamwork, analytical and problem-solving skills, personal management, interpersonal effectiveness, computer literacy, leadership, learning, academic competence in reading and math, and strong work values. These skills cannot be perfected by machines (no yet anyway). Although we should strive to become great individually, we shouldn’t stop there. We have the responsibility to push others toward greatness as well. To inspire people to be creative, giving them freedom, guiding them to grasp the details while keeping in mind the bigger picture — this is where true success lies. The value of something should be greater than the sum of its parts.

Master the basics.

Keep an open mind and get involved in different fields.

Think creatively and collaborate.

That’s the future of work.

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