Where Do You Fit In a World of Automation?
Don’t Worry: Your Passion Can’t Be Replaced
As artificial intelligence (AI) becomes ever more prevalent in the workforce, researchers are asking where and how human workers will fit into the evolving job landscape of the future. The more important question, however, is how you—with all your unique experiences and passions—will fit into this burgeoning world of automation. The good news is that you get to choose.
Everyone comes into their career with their own unique skills, experiences and baggage. Many are placed in situations at work and in life that they never asked for. When you encounter these challenges, such as robotics in the workforce, the way forward for you as an individual is determined largely by how you choose to respond and address the challenge.
Will you just go along, or will you find a way forward? Will you take what’s given to you, or will you create your own future, your own version of success? Breaking through any real or perceived blocks is what will lead to ultimate career success and happiness.
Automation Can’t Replace Passion
Automation makes a lot of things faster and easier for humans, but what can’t it do? It can’t replace your unique experience and passion. As we enter an age of industry where anything that can be replaced by automation likely will be, it is more important than ever to hone in on what your passions are and how they can be used in your career.
For many people, focusing on their passions seems frivolous or unrealistic. How are you supposed to make money if you focus on your passions rather than simply taking the work that’s in front of you? All it takes is an internal shift in the way you connect what you really want to be doing with how you make a living.
- How can you reframe your current job and skillset to maximize their interaction with and expression of your personal passions?
- What job would you do if there were no roadblocks in your way?
- What steps can you take today to move toward your ideal career experience?
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Embrace change: Change is inevitable whether we seek it or not. Stay flexible and allow your skillset and your options to grow to meet whatever changes happen in the workforce at large. Think of change as an opportunity rather than a threat.
- It’s all about happiness: When you seek out your personal joy in life, you will naturally be happier at work. When you seek out your personal joy at work, you will be happier in life. What is unique and joyful about the work you do? What human essence do you bring to your work than can never be replaced by a machine?
- You have a choice: Many shifts are experienced by what may seem like chance, circumstance, or coincidence. Be alert and notice the opportunities and signs life presents to you, then choose a direction at the fork in the road. Your journey is up to you. The world will follow your lead and fill in the blanks. You absolutely can realize your deepest desires in work and in life.
Showing the Shift Is Possible
Wondering how you can change your life and find your irreplaceable niche in the jobs of the future? Here are two examples of people who made it through their own trials to shift into their ideal careers.
Andy Wirth is the President and CEO of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows Ski Resorts. After surviving a traumatic sky diving accident in which he almost lost one of his arms, Andy had a new outlook on life and a fresh appreciation for it. In addition to spending more time with family and friends, he was inspired to begin working with others who had experienced injury, trauma or disability, creating opportunities for them to connect and heal.
He created discounted ski challenge programs in order to help people of all injuries (physical or other) learn to ski and enjoy what the mountains have to offer them in terms of healing.
“We all matter in life,” Andy shares. “We are all important. The least of us all is the person that matters the most. We should all care.”
Then there’s Sloan Walsh. Sloan grew up in the wake of her father’s World War II post-traumatic stress. As she got older, she battled with depression, an eating disorder and a broken heart. She turned to Christianity to create some balance in her life, to have something to hold on to.
“I actually believe the practice of prayer changed my brain structure,” Sloan says, “and there is science now to support this.”
Through the battles that came next for Sloan—chronic fatigue disorder, infertility, breast cancer, her husband’s bladder cancer and raising three adopted children—her faith carried her through to the happy, whole and love-filled life she has today. Thanks to her personal shift, Sloan now teaches parenting techniques to those interested in growing their families through whole-hearted mindfulness.
Of course, you don’t have to run a ski company or be a Christian to find your own path to your shift in life. The takeaway here is to allow yourself to be inspired by Andy and Sloan’s stories, and to remain open to your own as it unfolds. Don’t worry about the future of automation in the workforce. Instead, focus on what really matters to you and how you need to shift in order to get from where you are now to where you really want to be, in your career and in life in general.
You’ve got this.
Jody B. Miller
Career and Life Coach Jody B. Miller is author of the new book “From DRIFT to SHIFT: How Change Can Bring True Meaning and Happiness to Your Work and Life.” As CEO of C2C Executive Search & Strategic Management, Jody has helped thousands of people find true meaning in their work and in their lives. For more information visit www.JodyBMiller.com.