It’s been a discussion ever since industrialization took place: How does innovation affect the average individual’s job?
Now, the question is the same but the focus has changed. Today everyone, from workers to expert economists, debate the effect of modern technology on the job market. There’s no question that technology affects the world:
- Internet has changed how business communication is done.
- Automation is impacting productivity.
Tech is everywhere
Not everyone welcomes these changes. For instance, some feel technology—such as automation—will prevent people from obtaining jobs. Is this fear valid? Or do tech advances simply require people in today’s society to change how they approach the job market?
I’ll unpack a few exciting developments so you can decide for yourself how to approach the exciting work environment of the 21st century.
Top Four Tech Trends to Watch For …
A first step in preparing for the modern job market is to look at what you will contend with. Some may say that the new trends are what you’re up against. I suggest a different approach. If you understand modern trends you can amply prepare, align with expectations and make the most of the opportunities that come with them.
Yes, I said these developments offer you opportunities. Let me show you.
Rise of AI
When you hear the term ‘AI’ you may imagine scenarios where robots do all the work humans used to do. That’s not entirely accurate.
The concept of AI was born in 1956, so it’s been around longer than you think. It’s becoming more important as it provides ways of analyzing Big Data and it offers more accurate results, void of human error.
Artificial intelligence is a broad term referring to machines that react similar to how humans can. This includes aspects such as machine learning where a computer deducts how to do repetitive tasks such as transferring information from a database to other forms.
So yes, this changes your work environment: It frees up employees’ time so they can focus on other tasks and if you’re the AI expert in the company you’re bound to be promoted.
First of all, let me clarify the term. Gig refers to temporary or part time job commitments (gigging). It’s a modern concept but shouldn’t be seen as a threat. Rather, this was a welcome solution to many who faced ruin in the midst of the world’s economic crises such as the one in 2009.
The Gig Economy movement has grown thanks to various factors:
- Modern technology making it easy to connect with almost anyone across the globe. Corporations can also gain access to experts’ skills even if they live far away.
- Many corporations employ independent contractors for short periods as and when necessary instead of spending money on full time salaries and lots of office space. This helps companies survive trying economic times.
- People’s decisions to change jobs more often than was the norm decades ago lead to many becoming freelancers.
Once again, realizing the benefits of this change and engaging with gig economy could mean you find the solution to your current employment challenge.
Here are some platforms that are fueling the gig economy:
This links closely to the Gig economy as many of the independent contractors can complete their tasks anywhere as long as they have computers and access to the internet. But this term also refers to employers becoming more accepting of their full time employees working remotely instead of at the office.
Once again, this is made possible thanks to the advances in technology:
- Quality communication via the internet.
- Mobile computers.
- Remote access to databases while maintaining secure connections data stays protected against hackers.
This approach is beneficial to all involved as it cuts down on time spent on the road. It also affords workers’ more balanced lifestyles which often lead to more passion for their jobs. This automatically leads to higher productivity.
This development—made possible by technology—is a welcome change for employees and employers alike.
Emphasis on DIY
You only have to open YouTube and you’ll see how popular it has become to DIY just about anything. How did this impact the workplace? It means businesses try to do things on their own either by using online tools or watching training videos. This means they’re trying it out themselves instead of paying a professional. But is this wise?
- Branding: There is something to be said for the expertise needed to design a professional logo, put together a quality website, post social media adds that will attract attention and doing SEO for your website the right way. If any of these aren’t done correctly you could damage your reputation simply because you’re trying to save money. There are tons of logo making tools, DIY graphic design and web design software available to enable branding in a jiffy.
- Accounting: Accounting software that are easy to use and save business owners’ money. These tools are ideal for startups, however, without the necessary knowledge of different financial plans and tax you may be paying more than you have to.
- Training: Instead of outsourcing training, businesses create their own online teaching tools, webinars and onboarding sessions. This saves time and money, but is only effective if there’s a knowledgeable individual inside the company who can manage this process and provide quality learning.
- Business analysis: The only way you grow is if you monitor your progress. Online tools such as Google Analytics, SEMRush, and Sisense can help you see whether your website measures up. Just note that without an expert on the team you may now know how to fix the problem you identify.
DIY can save business owners money, but should be used in moderation. If you get it wrong it may cost you much more in the long run.
For service providers or job hunters who feel they’re missing out on work opportunities because of employers using DIY methods, the challenge is up: market yourself effectively so employers understand the value you can provide.
How to Work With Tech?
It’s clear: technology has changed the world as we knew it a few decades ago. Each trend can lead to challenges for those searching for positions in the job market. Unfortunately your job training may not prepare to cope with it because these changes are so new. The ‘how to’ has not been written. But it’s easier than you think:
- Read, read and read: Internet is the best place to get acquainted with new trends or learn about an emerging new tech. Subscribe to online platforms and read instant updates on modern innovations that are happening in your area of interest or niche.
- Adapt fast: Find out how you can adapt to the tech —if you’re the only applicant who has the skills to work with something up and coming, chances are you’ll get an edge in the recruitment process and likely be the preferred candidate.
- Be flexible: Be open to work with different tech and possible options. Step out of your comfort zone, don’t look for work that falls right under your area of expertise — find work that needs a flexible approach or challenges your skill set.
- Never cease learning: If you realize your current job may soon be automated, acquire new skills so your employer can utilize you in other areas. Embrace the free time brought on by automation to excel at your work.
- Keep up with trends: Show your employer how these trends can optimize productivity and be the one with the know-how on implementing it.
Being tech savvy can make you irreplaceable.
Tech: Friend or Foe
It’s easy to view these changes as challenges only, but the better option is to see how technology increases your job options.
It may take some preparation and it calls for change but take heart: If you embrace the transition in the job market, put in some work and look for the opportunities you can have more job satisfaction than ever before.
It’s inevitable that technology will affect your life. What are you going to do about it?