I am Maintenance Planner who loves to go cycling, play the guitar, and want to start a hobby in writing.
I had a first-hand experience of how humans were replaced by machines. Just recently, the company I worked for had the widest manpower reduction program. It is the third program since my 10 years of tenure, and this one was brutal.
A lot of my friends were not expecting to be called redundant and there were uncertainties in their eyes when they were laid off.
So Why Were They Declared Redundant?
At first, we thought the company was only reducing operational expenses. But as months went on, the true reason started to unfold. The company bought machines and software that deemed many job positions as redundant.
And in the years to come, without a doubt, we will be seeing more people replaced by machines at work.
Machines can process large chunks of data without getting tired, and though machines lack human compassion and other emotions, they do make it up as capable to work without any complaint.
Will this be the End of Humans at Work?
Humans will still be relevant, but our relevancy will not be available in almost all industries. The capability of humans to think and respond without pre-programmed algorithms makes us a powerful thinking organic machine.
How can Humans Avoid Being Replaced by Machines at Work?
At some point, the jobs that we have will be replaced by machines. It is just a matter of time until a tech company discovers another breakthrough in artificial intelligence.
Maintain a High Level of Skill
Ever heard of the phrase “sharpen the saw”? This will be our number one tool in the competition between humans and machines. Sharpening the saw means that we need to be in top shape. We need to maintain the high quality of our skill.
So why is this important?
If for example, the Company decides to replace us with a machine, it doesn’t mean that our skill will be invaluable to other companies in the industry. The other company may not have reached the decision to replace their workforce with machines.
But the challenge here is, chances are, we will not be the only ones looking for that job. And there may not be enough vacant positions for everyone. Now, this is where sharpening the saw comes in to play. If we are able to maintain our skill at a high level, it will not only show on our resumes but it will show how we respond during interviews.
It is normal for a recruitment officer to ask real-life scenario questions to measure an applicant's knowledge of a topic. And if we are able to sharpen our saw, then we'd be more confident to respond and recommend solutions in our answers.
Thus, sharpening the saw is ensuring that we are qualified for other companies looking for our skill and attitude.
Learn New Skill
Our grandparents or even parents have lived in an era where you can stay with a Company, spend 30 years, and retire. That will not be the case now.
Technology is changing so fast that a certain job description will be irrelevant at a certain point.
It is just a matter of time where an entire floor of employees will be replaced by machines. And considering the latter scenario, learning a new skill will be very important because this will open new opportunities to grow a career.
We are all familiar with the saying “do not place your eggs in one basket”. If we translate that to jobs, do not invest your hopes in one industry. Always look for other opportunities so it will not be difficult in case there is an immediate need to pivot for a new career.
Grow a Social Media Account
Leveraging the reach of social media can be very powerful. Entrepreneurs like Garry Vee warned his audience that they’d become irrelevant, at least for marketing’s sake, if they do not know how to use social media.
The entire thought of that message can be applied to us if we’d lost our job to a machine. Social media is a virtual space where people can interact. If you have a social media account, you’d receive some helpful information if you suddenly lose your job. A friend might post a job opening near you or you can message your friends and humbly ask for any job openings they know. And as matter of fact, there is a social media platform designed for this idea and that is LinkedIn.
Social media platforms have evolved a lot. They are not the spaces only for communication and entertainment, but they have become virtual spaces for information and education.
Final Thoughts of How Humans Can Find a Job After Being Replaced by a Machine
The tips mentioned here are to ensure survival in case the company we are working for deemed us as redundant. A preparation of how to immediately pivot when management decides to hire machines instead of humans. But if we sum the three tips together it will only mean two words. Relevant and valuable. In almost any industry, if we desire a job, we need to be relevant and valuable.
Thus right now, let us start to improve our skills at work and be consistently relevant and valuable to the company. And if we work hard on that, we might avoid being replaced by machines or can immediately find a new job if machines will take over.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Erl Sua
MG Singh emge from Singapore on December 26, 2020:
This is a nice article but applicable more to countries like Italy and Spain which do not have a young workforce. As an example the average age in Italy is 48 and they will certainly need machines but in the country like India where the average age is 28 machines will make a great dent in the workforce and one wonders what the millions will do when they won't have a job. Some level of automation is good but in countries like India with the work force of 900 million it has really got no meaning and that is why the Indian trade unions and workers unions are not in favor of Wholesale automation.
Erl Sua (author) from Philippines on December 26, 2020:
thank you for your comment Sir
Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 25, 2020:
Well expressed. Updating skills will be necessary to compete with these machines.