Recently, I met up with a client who told me that he got retrenched. He shared how confused and devastated he was, especially since he had been working with the same company for over two decades. I could empathise with him as I have seen that retrenchments and company downsizing is on the rise as we enter into a technology based economy. However, all is not gloom; we can use technology to our advantage and make the best of what it has to offer. I am glad that my client is open to looking into options of starting his own online business.
No doubt we are entering a new era of unprecedented disruption where technology advancement will create profound change that will affect the way we live, work and survive. As we embrace the new economy, we need to rethink how to adapt to changes at work and in life. We need to choose (or transition to) a career, develop and learn new skills of the future. Gone are the days where we have job security, now we need to move towards developing the relevant skills needed for the new technology based economy.
The World Economic Forum, in a recent study, predicted that five million jobs would be lost before 2020 as artificial intelligence, robotics, digital business models and other socio-economic factors replace the need for human workers.
Pierre Nanterme, CEO of Accenture shared that dynamic technology advancement is the reason why just over half of the names of companies on the Fortune 500 have disappeared since the year 2000. And yet, we are only at the beginning of what is called the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”.
In the new digital age economy, many jobs will be made obsolete. Here are some examples:
- With the rise of online shopping, brick and mortar businesses are massively affected.
- Hotels are challenged by Airbnb.
- Cashiers’ jobs are vulnerable with the introduction of self – checkout counters at the supermarkets and shopping malls.
- With the increase in the use of smartphones and email, the demand for postal service jobs will decline.
- Taxi and bus drivers could be replaced by driverless cars and buses.
- Demand for lecturers and teachers will slowly decline as online learning revolutionises teaching models.
- In some restaurants and cafes, the use of robots is beginning to gain popularity in place of waiters and waitresses.
These are only a few phenomena of potential job losses caused by disruptive technologies.
This is a worldwide problem.
What can you do?
Take control. Moving forward, the future workforce is all about tech savviness. The challenge is for people to adopt an innovative mindset and focus on learning new skills to stay relevant because what they learnt in schools may have become obsolete. The good news is with some learning and effort, we can thrive no matter what the circumstances.
YOU are responsible for your career and your future. If we are not actively seeking to improve your situation, it won’t improve.
Only one thing is constant: CHANGE! REGARDLESS of how dynamic and disruptive the changes are going to be, we need to develop our skills for the future.
Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change. – Jim Rohn
The good news is NOW is the best time to leverage the internet and with new technologies we can innovate faster and better. The internet economy is booming; there has never been a better time to become an online business owner.
It is time for us to embrace a world of dynamic experimentation by disrupting creatively in providing value for others before we are disrupted by jobs that were made obsolete.
What does Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Jack Ma, Alibaba’s CEO have in common? Yes, they are the change makers, they add value, reach thousands and millions of people around the world, they built billion dollar companies. In a nutshell, they have created online businesses that thrive on automation and are leveraging the internet and technology advancement to grow their wealth.
You don’t have to build billion dollar businesses (although you certainly can if you choose to) but one thing is for sure, you can definitely leverage the internet to start an online business and create your own job!
How can we leverage the internet to create our own income?
Here are some ways to monetise the internet and use technologies to your advantage:
- Digital Publishing
- Selling on Amazon and EBay
- Affiliate Marketing
- Email Marketing
(Image credits : freepik.com)
Below are some of the benefits of having an online business:
- Lower operation costs (no need for a prestigious office or physical space, you can work at home, at a cafe or anywhere you like just with an internet connection).
- Freedom of location and time (you can work from anywhere and to your own schedules).
- It can be automated (after you have built a profitable online business system, you can potentially make money hands off).
- Scalable (global reach).
- Easy accessibility and zero cost delivery for digital products.
So if you are thinking of starting your own online business as your next career option, you are moving in the direction of future jobs and that can give you an edge in a digital age.
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