How to Plan Your Career Path in the Age of AI

Updated: Aug 25, 2019



Artificial Intelligence can bring us on cross-roads in very near future, let's be prepared!



In this digital era, technology has become an integral part of our lives. Not only personal, but technology has also taken over the workspaces too. Every day new robots are getting capable of making many tasks simpler and automated in different areas. Kai-Fu Lee, a leading venture capitalist, believes that 40% of the jobs globally will be automated in the next 15 years. But as the door closes on one end, another opens on the other end. Humans, who have been at the center of innovation since decades, will find new professions surrounding AI. In this guide, we ponder in detail on the recent job trends and how to script your career path in this take-over of our jobs by computers.


Comparing the Job Trends in Past 15 Years

Fifteen years ago, getting a job in your favorite company was much easier, because the competition was less. Also, people with advanced skill sets were lesser in number. Compare that to today, when most of the potential employees go for higher education or dedicated certifications each day. Below we take a look at the trends which have shaped workspaces since the past 15 years:

1. Acceleration of Technology-Driven Changes in Society- One of the major changes in our lives as Millennials have been the rapid pace of advancement in technology. Up until the ’90s and to 2000s to a certain extent, it was easy for someone to develop an expertise in one skill or a degree and continue working for the same kind of job till very long. For an average worker, up-gradation in skill or complete changes if required, used to be after 8–15 years in a single kind of job. Now that each year is filled with multiple breakthrough innovations, it’s becoming a necessity to cross-skill and upskills every 2–3 years and the duration is becoming shorter year!


2. Advancement in Work Outputs: Earlier, a lot of time in any work used to go to get the basics right. Be it formatting an excel or a PPT, debugging a program, or grading an assignment, there was a lot of basic manual work that needed to be done. Now, you would have observed that a lot of basic manual work has been automated, and tools are able to do as a good a job in those basics as an employee would do (and sometimes even better!). So there used to be more layer or number of employees in any company. Now AI with automation has freed up that time and unlocked productivity.


The focus has now shifted to get more of ideation and thought work done in your job than the mere basics.

3. Driving one’s own career: The coming decade will see millennials occupying more than 75% of the workspace in offices! With the challenges of technology changes, busy cities, and rapidly evolving work-practices, there’s a tangible shift in entrepreneurship, remote work, and micro-ventures across the world.


4. Digitalization & Global Connectivity: With the increasing footprint of the internet, IOT related careers such as YouTubing, Blogging, Social Influencers, Data Scientists, Cyber Security Analysts among many others are gaining traction.





What Are Your Interests and Skill Sets?

Before exploring the possible career options, one needs to understand their skills, values, interests, and most important of all — personality. Getting to know what you are good at, and what you enjoy doing the most, will help you choose a career path where you will be most productive.


Soft Skills: Usually when it comes to skills, most of us only focus on the hard skills needed for the job we want to do. An equally effective need is for all of us to develop our soft skills, especially around communication and collaboration.


Interests & Hard Skills: Your interests might give you an indication which area you wish to develop your hard skills in. It can vary from computer programming, data analysis to being a chef, podcaster, video blogger or a gamer! The opportunities are immense if one is open to step out of their comfort zones and have enough self-belief.


Finding a Suitable Area of Work



There's no right or wrong door. But do some research on the door you want to open for yourself!

One needs to find a career which they truly care about. It can be something that you are passionate about in the conventional sense or something that puts you in a creative-lively mode. But getting just a conventional degree is no longer a sure-shot path to professional security.

You might be fascinated to be opportunities freelance and take steps towards micro-preneurship. It’s not just about being your own boss, but to be able to work on a diversified range of things that interest you. You can define your own pace and choice of a place where you want to work.

It’s an option that immediately excites a lot of us. But at the same time, one would need to grow a strong support network to make it a consistent source of living. Social media has definitely made the networking factor quite easier still you need to reach out to people on your own. Let the world know of that one thing that’s your passion and in which you are expert enough to make a living.


Having an Open Discussion with Parents and Friends



Discuss any ideas in your minds with people close to you!

You might not be aware of it, but you have already been influenced by your parents, into making a career choice. This is true because most of us idolize the professions of our parents while growing up. If your father is an army officer, you may admire his organizational skills and opt for joining the uniformed force. Since they have already influenced you, it is for your good to get their advice for choosing the correct career path.

As for friends, they can also help you in shaping your career path. Since some of your friends have a similar skill set because of the practical classes you attended together back in college, it is beneficial to keep in touch with them to gauge what career-related steps they are taking, so that it helps you too.

A good option is to reach out to people who have already shaped a career path in which you are thinking of taking a step. Proper guidance from experts who have already faced the struggles, would definitely make your life easier.

That said, you should steer clear of any unsolicited advice, which often comes from many relatives and friends, who might not have your best interests at heart.


Seeking Career Guidance


If you are finding it difficult to choose the right career path for yourself, it is advisable to select a mentor for professional and personal development. These mentors are experienced individuals who can identify your skill-set, recognize your goals, and can act as a springboard to a perfect career choice. The relationship between a mentee and a mentor is based on mutual trust and respect, and the mentor can act as the ideal guide in the ocean of career opportunities.


Conclusion


We hope ideas shared in this post help you get some thoughts together in the process of your career planning. If you got any questions, or wish to discuss the next steps in your career, try discussing your doubts at CareerOracles forum. Someone might have a cool suggestion relative to your own situations!

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