Technology will kill your job! *

* (or at least a significant portion of your job)

Eric van Gils, Partner

A  debate these days is whether technology, robots or artificial intelligence are going to kill jobs, and how many jobs will be killed. People are trying to look 20 or 30 years into the future to identify which jobs will disappear, and what new jobs will be created.

My view is probably a bit harsher than most in that I propose ALL of our jobs, as they currently stand, are going to be killed by technology.

I have been fortunate in my career to have worked in several industries including banking, accounting and recruitment. All three of these industries have changed significantly in the last 40 years and we would be fooling ourselves to think they won't look very different 40 years into the future.

Banking

If we consider banking. The banker of the 1970's knew nothing about online banking or international realtime derivative trading, both products of technology. Today's bankers' responsibilities and day-to-day challenges are worlds apart from what kept a banker awake 40 years ago.

Accounting

 

The accountant of the 70's never worried about reconciling their live invoicing system to their GL system, or any of the hundreds of accounting rules developed thanks to the effect technology has had on business. They also did not have any concerns relating to the implementation of an end-to-end ERP finance module and how it would affect their ability to report to management daily, or the effect it would have on their investors' expectations for year-end reporting. (never mind the system's ability to handle the hundreds of new accounting rules businesses now needs to comply with)

Recruiting

Recruiters of the 70's spent most of their time meeting candidates and clients face to face, receiving job descriptions via the mail (post office) and sending candidate profiles to clients via the postal system. Their daily tasks were incomparable with the tasks of a modern tech savvy recruiter who spends most of their day searching, engaging and assessing candidates via Email, LinkedIn, JobBoards, Social Media or Skype interviews.

Where does this leave us all?

Everyone's job as it currently stands is going to be killed. If you look at the tasks you spend most of your time doing today, and tools you spend most of your day using, in 20 or 30 years these will probably be indistinguishable from today. Accept this.

Fortunately for us the change does not happen overnight and our roles will evolve over several decades. The challenge is that the end state is something we probably cannot currently imagine, or even understand.

We need to focus on continuously up skilling ourselves, remaining at the forefront of our professions and staying plugged into advances in technology. Parts of our jobs will disappear, but rather than seeing this as a threat we need to see the opportunities the new ways of working offer to be more effective in our roles, add more value to our clients and further develop our chosen professions.

You can read your eyes out and still won’t have read half enough … the illiterate of the future are not those who cannot read or write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. — Alvin Toffler