Are you under fifty? Do you think you will you be working for at least another twenty years?
Then there is more than a one in three chance that your current job will be automated during that time.
A raft of reports over the past few years have emphasised the significant impact that technology will have on future employment. In a report for the Committee for Economic Development, it was estimated that 40% of jobs in the Australian workforce will be lost to automation over the next fifteen years.
And these wont just be the unskilled labouring and trades jobs that have traditionally been lost through the automation of the manufacturing industry. They will also include white-collar clerical and sales positions which have seen such strong employment growth over the past forty years.
Automation will even impact on some professional occupations such as accountancy, law, and architecture that were previously thought immune to technological unemployment.
In fact, it is unlikely that there will be a field of work that wont be impacted by technological change over the next fifteen years. And as workers are pushed out of their traditional sphere of employment, they will crowd into a labour markets where opportunities will be shrinking.
So how can you protect yourself against future unemployment?
Quite simply… become creative.
The single consistent feature that has been identified in those jobs most under threat from technology is the routine nature of the work task and the one skill that will not be impacted by automation is creativity. Workers in the future that will have the most secure and profitable employment will be creative workers. But this creativity wont be a special skill of artists and musicians.
All future workers will need a moderate level of creativity to thrive in the future workforce. These workers will need to be problem solvers. They will need to think laterally, both in their jobs and in the ways they get their work.
These workers will be curious about future trends and good at imagining alternative scenarios where they might profit. They wont work for any one employer for more than a few years and their work will be contractual, flexible, and part-time.
These workers will need to be creative in way they approach their home-life balance. They wont be going off to their office in the city anymore. Their home and their community will be their work hub and they will need to negotiate a whole new set of domestic relationships as a result.
What is creativity? Is it a skill I can practice? Can I test my creativity? Will my current job be under threat from technology?
Find the answers to these questions in a ‘Creativity and the Future of Work’ workshop, next Saturday 8th April 2-5pm at Robina Community Centre. Cost $30.