In my decade as a career coach meeting with hundreds of job seekers, I came to realise that people are increasingly fearful of losing their jobs to technology advances.
Some people, especially technology savvy people, will find the technological revolution liberating and empowering. We can do many things fast and we can do almost anything with a click of a mouse. We can also obtain information easily and many things can be found at our fingertips.
However, a majority of people feel anxiety about this age of disruption. Many people I have encountered fear that their qualifications, skills and knowledge will be obsolete. Many governments all over the globe face the challenges of creating meaningful and gainful employment for workers whose skills have been made less relevant because of the new digital age economy and new technologies.
When I asked my clients “What are your concerns with regards to your job?” Many people say that they are most concerned about job security and the impact they will have to face because of digital disruption.
We need not fear the changes that are to come, however we do need to prepare and equip ourselves for the digital economy and new opportunities which have already started.
We need to realise that the job we are doing now is likely to change in profound ways in the next three to five years and beyond.
We need to ask ourselves these questions:
1) What do I need to learn to overcome these concerns?
2) What new knowledge, skills and information do I need to equip myself with?
3) How do I better prepare myself for these inevitable changes?
Our old paradigm has got to change. Having good paper qualifications with stellar grades are no longer a guarantee of job security. Digital technologies are transforming industries, and may result in some job losses.
Here are four ways to overcome anxiety
1) Stay abreast of industry developments
Workers need to stay abreast of industry developments by upgrading their skills continually. They are to address the capability needs of the current and near future economy by identifying and equipping themselves with the important skill sets that are needed in the new economy.
2) Cultivate an innovative mindset
Embracing new opportunities by having new skills is not enough, we need to adopt an innovative mindset and focus on ways to stay relevant because what we learnt in school may have become obsolete. New technologies emerge because someone has the imagination, innovation and creativity to create them.
3) Adopt lifelong learning
Digital technologies are transforming industries and creating new job opportunities. Workers must adopt lifelong learning to take on new opportunities. They need to upgrade their skills and acquire new knowledge to stay competitive.
4) Embrace change
How you embrace change governs your future. See technological advancement as an opportunity to leverage new careers. For example, the information age has made it easier for people to explore the possibility of using their knowledge and skills to start a business really quickly and reach their customers globally at a rapid pace.