What to Do if Automation is Threatening Your Job

Job automation is a hot topic right now. With robotics and artificial intelligence threatening a variety of jobs and tasks, it's up to you to proactively manage your career.

Professional man working in a manufacturing facility

There's an oft-repeated claim today that robots will steal your job. Here are the facts: 
So what does all that really mean for you?
To remain employable, individuals must actively nurture their learnability - “the desire and ability to quickly grow and adapt one's skill set to remain employable throughout their working life.” Indeed, in a world where technology, automation and digitalization is changing our world in new and different ways every day, upskilling should be a top priority for long-term career success.
Don't Wait for Your Review to Talk to Your Boss About Your Career 
If automation is threatening your job, now is the perfect time to start a Career Conversation with your boss
The purpose of the Career Conversation is to identify key areas where you can improve your skills so you can be a more effective employee—now and in the future. Another benefit is identifying opportunities for a more rewarding career path despite the changes occurring in your industry. The Career Conversation should help you see the long-range opportunities for employment and give your employer the opportunity to assist you in developing your skills, which will benefit them now and maybe the future, as well.
Discuss the future of your industry and ask how you can prepare for your next career move. By taking the initiative, you'll demonstrate to your manager that you care about your career and are proactively thinking about how to contribute to the organization's long term success.


When to Consider a Career Transition
If your current job falls within that 5% of roles under threat to be replaced by robots, or many of the tasks you perform can be automated, then you may want to consider a career transition into a new function, industry or role. 
Are there other similar/related industries you can jump to using many of the skills you are using now? If so, explore what those are and use the Career Conversation to identify new skills that can help you as you make that transition.
In the meantime, seek out ongoing development to nurture your professional skill set. If your employer won't provide it, all is not lost. Take on stretch projects at work; volunteer with an organization that will let you try out new skills; take a free online course or make the investment in job training yourself. 
Automation is not a bad thing. It's a natural part of the modern world of work. But it's unrealistic to think that it won't impact all jobs in one way or another. Keep your eyes open, proactively plan your career path, and don't be afraid to seek out new skills that will help you remain employable for the long run.

Related Articles to Help You Manage Your Career:
Upskill: Adapting to the Changing World of Work
How to Change Careers
Career Conversations to Have With Your Manager