• Barbara Murphy-Shannon

Will Robots Take Your Job?

Updated: Feb 17

It was 2 years ago that my first client, a woman in her 50’s came to me after she was fired from her job of 17 years and a 6-figure income. She was pretty devastated and having difficulty digesting she was unemployed. Stressed about what to do next. Then it wasn’t 6 months later another women at a different company in her 50’s was let go from a job she held for 20 plus years without any warning. What the hell is happening? Were these companies replacing these women with younger and cheaper workers?  Job security is a thing of the past. Companies lay off employees in droves…by the thousands. They make sweeping cuts without a thought about the people because their concern is the numbers. The average employee tenure these days is under 5 years, and for millennials, it’s under three years. If that wasn’t enough the robots are coming.  Apple recently bought the AI company Lattice Data, and Uber acquired Geometric Intelligence and turned it into its AI research department.  AI is replacing jobs in many categories such as industrial manufacturing, food production & service, self-driving cars & trucks, insurance assessments, stock trading, accounting, HR, teachers and many tasks in healthcare. What about your job? Here's a link on Slack -- to a website to check if your job will be replaced by robots. Will a robot take my job? I was thrilled to learn a psychologist had only a 1% chance of being automated or replaced by robots and AI. My son, the bartender, wasn’t as lucky with a 77% chance of being replaced.  So, what does this have to do with you? Everything! This is why I’m a big proponent of working for yourself and the ability to become an entrepreneur has never been easier and more accepted. You can freelance, coach, sell on Esty, or drive for Uber. And if being your own boss isn't your thing then according to Liz Ryan, founder of Human Workplace and author of  Reinvention Roadmap,  "we have to run our careers differently now. We are all entrepreneurs in the new-millennium workplace, even when we work for other people. It doesn't matter whether you work for a corporation, a startup company, a government agency, a not-for-profit organization or any other entity. You still have to run your career like a business. Your career is a business! It's your business to run. You are the CEO". Here are ten things she suggest you need to think about and do differently now that we never had to think about before — back in the days when we took our job security for granted. As machine learning continues to grow, we all need to develop new skills in order to differentiate ourselves. But which ones? Understanding, motivating, and interacting with human beings.  AI might be able to diagnose an illness and even recommend treatment better than a doctor.  It takes a person, however, to sit with a patient, understand their life situation, quality of life, and help determine what treatment plan is optimal. It’s these human capabilities that will become more and more important over the next decade.  Skills like persuasion, social understanding, and empathy are going to become differentiators as artificial intelligence and machine learning take over our other tasks jobs.  Those that want to stay relevant in their professions will need to focus on skills and capabilities that artificial intelligence has trouble replicating — Robots can’t show empathy….at least not yet.

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Barbara Murphy-Shannon is a Mindset Business Coach for Women Entrepreneurs. She puts out a weekly blog, offers workshops and retreats. Barbara@barbaramurphyshannon.com

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