Toy robot working on a laptop as automation becomes more prevalent in the future of work
Toy robot at work. Image: cjmacer/Shutterstock

How to stay relevant at work when automation arrives

16 May 2018

Automation and robotics will have a huge impact on the working world as we know it. So, how can you stay relevant in the age of automation? Hays’ Jacky Carter has some advice.

There’s a lot of focus on what robotics and AI might take away from us, but actually embracing technology can pay huge dividends for your career if you approach it in the right way.

During a recent Q&A session at one of our offices, I was asked: “How it is that you know about X, Y and Z? Which courses do you go on? Who teaches you about new technology as it emerges? How do you keep your knowledge current and relevant?”

All great questions, I’m sure you’d agree. Until then, I’d never really stopped to think about how I stay relevant, but here was a room full of people who were genuinely interested in how they could do the same. So, here’s what I shared with them.

Be inquisitive

This is a fundamental brand value for Hays employees. It is the value that makes our people experts in what they do.

If staying accustomed to and up to date with new technology is important to you, then you need to be curious and actively look out for things that you don’t understand, so that you can push yourself to learn more about them.

Be brave

We all know that technology is morphing, changing and evolving at a fantastic pace, some of it having more immediate impact than others.

Jargon is rife and can leave you behind pretty quickly – so, if there is something you don’t know about, make it your priority to push yourself out of your comfort zone and increase your knowledge, no matter how daunting that might feel.

People who do have the knowledge are usually pretty open to sharing and answering questions, so tap into their wisdom, and be prepared to do the same for others once you have built your own knowledge up.

Be discerning

It’s impossible for anyone to know everything about everything. Pick the channels that have the most relevance in your own field and find different ways to inform yourself about current trends and new developments, be that through mentors, colleagues, news sites, or following savvy individuals on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Focusing on what’s really useful to you in your day-to-day work will concentrate your knowledge. This way, it’s also much less likely you’ll feel overwhelmed.

Be relentless

This is not a one-time, one-off activity. You really have to bake this into your day-to-day routine and make it a habit.

Train yourself to stay aware and alert to anything that might need a bit of further investigation. Read the tech section of your favourite publication or follow it on social media. Nothing stands still, and neither should you.

Digital transformation is not just about what organisations are doing, although many companies are spending a significant amount of time and money ensuring their business stays relevant and competitive. It’s also about what individuals like you and me are doing to ensure we stay relevant, particularly those of us who aren’t exactly digital natives.

By Jacky Carter

Jacky Carter is the group digital engagement director at Hays.

A version of this article originally appeared on Hays’ Viewpoint blog

Toy robot at work. Image: cjmacer/Shutterstock

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