Imagine at 7:00am in Hong Kong, you wake up by an implanted chip behind your ear, in your smart home or apartment, automatically playing music from the recommended list. Meanwhile in the kitchen, all the AI-chefware appliances have already started cooking a personalized breakfast meal to meet your specific nutrition needs. While you get dressed, your Siri-Z informs you that your self-driving car is ready to take you to the airport. Then you hit the road while enjoying a chess game with the android robot Alpha Zero 3.0. Today, much of this could be from a sci-fi movie; it may not be as wild as you think in 10 years.

Already,  Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation, are not strangers to our daily life and work. Despite all the unpredictability, the world in 2030 will certainly be even smarter and more automatic than it is today. Technology will continue to disrupt current business models and eliminate outdated 'human jobs', while creating new professions we can’t yet envisage.

McKinsey published their findings in AI, automation, and the future of work: Ten things to solve for, highlighting about half of the activities (NOT jobs) carried out by workers could be automated in the future. Meanwhile, technology itself has historically been a net job creator. Along with additional economic and productivity growth, technology will continue to create jobs. Particularly, a number of new occupations that don't yet exist will also emerge and could account for almost 10 percent of jobs created by 2030.

According to the most recent report from Global Employment Trends for Youth 2020, Technology and the future of jobs, ILO (International Labor Organization), young people across the world are worried that new technologies, particularly robotics and AI may take away their jobs, and applicants for jobs in most sectors are now expected to have digital skills.

Undoubtedly, the technological transformation raises many questions about how we work, or more precisely, how we can keep up with the evolving job market and ensure we are not replaced by a robot or a machine? A research from the University of California, pointed out in The Future of Work: Humans, Machines, and Entrepreneurship, that millions of workers probably need to be re-skilled, to do tasks that are cognitive and non-routine. Thus, if you're wondering whether you'll still have a job in the future, it depends on, in many ways, how much of your work is non-routine and how much time and money you are willing to invest in changing or adapting your skillset.

To better prepare for future success, it is critical to identify what type of skills and capacities are essential for you? In Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills, it is obvious there is an increasing demand for Soft skills, such as communication, time management, negotiating, writing, listening, problem solving, and decision making, in nearly every company and every industry. Meanwhile, the article also shows that there will always be a market for those with a deep knowledge of certain fields. Certain sectors will always demand new hires with niche skills and technical training.

As humans will inevitably be working alongside machines in the near future, how do employers and employees make the most out of it? The Future of Work: The Rise of Workers Who Self Automate Their Jobs looks at the same issue from a different angle. The author suggests that from the government to employers, it should be encouraged for workers to look for ways to automate parts of their jobs, and in the process, increase their productivity and reclaim parts of their work day. As a result, it may not be that far from reality when self-automating your job allows you to have a four-day work week.

Lastly, let’s hear what the expert from BCG (Boston Consulting Group) has to say about Re-Envisioning the Future of Work.

Header image credit: Pngtree

Interested to up-skill yourself for the future work? Check out various courses on entrepreneurship, export, as well as soft skills on ITC SME Trade Academy and Virtual Learning Space. All are Free!

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