Future Of Work: We Can’t All Become Coders

The future of work is changing rapidly. Artificial intelligence is changing the workplace. Slowly it is displacing humans on manual tasks. More importantly, in the next decade, even some knowledge-based jobs will be replaced by innovation. This can leave people feeling unsettled. In today’s workplace, there’s a noticeable feeling of uncertainty. The reason for this unsettled feeling is that we are not all used to change.

Change is inherently scary.

The good news is that change truly makes us better in our life. It is an opportunity to grow and evolve. A lot of us, according to World Economic Forum, more than 30% of us will need to learn new skills so that we can get better jobs.

In 2018, 2019, many coding camps sprung up and everyone wanted to learn to code. According to coursereport, the bootcamp market grew by 49%. Artificial Intelligence is leading the new wave of innovations. People who are currently in jobs ripe for displacement are re-training themselves to become coders.

The truth is that not everyone can be coders and not everyone should be coders.

Programming is a job that requires abstract thinking, logical thinking, and attention to detail. For people who are not used to that mindset, simply learning to code using a book or a course won’t lead to a fulfilling career.

You want to retrain yourself on skills that align with your interests and passions.

In the age of emerging technology: artificial intelligence, big data, virtual reality, and robotics, there are plenty of jobs that will require technical understanding but at the same time involve more human skills. These jobs won’t be replaced by technology any time soon.

As a part of retraining and re-skilling, how about thinking of the alignment of Ikigai. Ikigai is the Japanese concept of finding your reason for being. In the center of passion, mission, vocation, and profession is ikigai. It’s a purpose for living, and a reason for being. Many credits this concept as the blueprint for happiness.

Below image illustrates what it means to find happiness through Ikigai.

In the age of change in the workplace, it’s an opportunity to find your ikigai. Some of us are in jobs we currently love. What if these jobs are going to be replaced, too? That is okay. In the age of innovation, just like our jobs that are transformed, we can transform, too.

The question to ask yourself is: Can you revise your current profession, add, subtract, modify, to create a new job for yourself that will lead to Ikigai in the future of work.

Reliance on the status quo

In change, there’s almost a need to cling onto the status quo. According to psychologists, we have an inherent status quo bias that prevents us from being comfortable in change. Because uncertainty is uncomfortable, you tend to work harder at your current jobs.

But, what you need is to self-reflect on what your ideal profession should be in the future workplace. Through self-reflection, you can figure out an action plan for yourself.

In some ways, embracing new challenges is the cure for our collective future of work problems. Often, it’s not the new challenge that leads to the result of finding your ikigai. It’s the journey along the way that leads to other avenues of exploration that will lead to finding your ikigai.

The journey is never ending. There’s always gonna be growth, improvement, adversity; you just gotta take it all in and do what’s right, continue to grow, continue to live in the moment.

Antonio Brown

Be prepared for a longer and more elaborate journey. The future is complex. The road is winding. Innovation does not happen overnight. Think in terms of years and plan accordingly.

Modifying the status quo

One of the best ways to ease yourself into the future workplace is to modify your existing status quo to integrate technology. Think of yourself as a self-sustaining company. If corporations are integrating technology to automate processes, how can you integrate technology into your life?

Many people learn to code to solve problems in their daily life. If you are an artist, how can you leverage new technology to display your artwork, generate your artwork, and sell your artwork to more customers? If you are a doctor, how can you leverage new technology to automate your workflows in a way that will allow you to focus on the patient? If you are a shop keeper, how can you leverage new technology to help you sell online to a wider customer base? If you are a marketing manager, have you thought about what it would be like to work with a team located across the world serving clients worldwide?

Opportunities Created

Modifying the status quo often leads us to new opportunities created. In surgery, new robotic technology is improving procedures every day and helping doctors to develop less invasive procedures. At the same time, there’s a new type of assistance required in these types of surgeries. Nurses and surgical assistants are learning to load equipment for the robots, monitor their activities while learning to adapt to this new working environment.

There will be manual work that will be completely replaced. But, at the same time, there will be many new industries and jobs opened. If you keep your eyes open while you try your hands at different types of new jobs, then you may find new jobs that are more fulfilling.

We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conumdrum of life and history, there “is” such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.

Martin Luther King

If there’s an urgency, you will be surprised at how much you can accomplish. Your life may be re-energized because you are learning every day.

Evaluate and use all the skills that you have

Innovation is happening every day. Have you evaluated all the skills that you have? Skills that will not be easily replaced are emotional intelligence, creativity, communication, judgment, critical thinking, etc..

Create a worksheet for yourself where you list out all the skills that you have. Circle the ones that you think you are best at. Then, envision a job that will use all of your best skills.

According to the World Economic Forum, 65% of our children now entering primary school will hold jobs that don’t exist yet. According to McKinsey, by 2030, demand for jobs that require a higher level of cognitive skills such as emotional intelligence, creativity, communication, judgment and critical thinking will rise by 19% and in Europe by 14%.

With new technology, there’s also more of a need for new kinds of service jobs that use a combination of human skills in conjunction with technology skills. This type of service job will involve interacting with an AI-enabled system to come up with solutions.

Learn to be empowered by information and automation

One of the pitfalls of technological innovation is often that we are inundated by information and feel bogged down by automation. In your own daily life, are you using data and technology to help you to become more efficient? Are you learning to deal with a global workforce and a global clientele?

Many traders at investment banks are learning to code so that they can track market movements and build models that will work better.

Many marketing consultants are automating their marketing flow to manage the ever-increasing amounts of newsletters, press releases, and campaigns that they have to run. They are spending more time analyzing customer behavior from data generated by marketing software.

Many parents are hiring babysitters, tutors, and housekeepers to manage their family life better. Many of them are learning to work remotely freeing up time to spend with their children. Some of them are outsourcing parts of their current jobs by using Fiverr and Upwork so that they can also free up time to up-skill in their careers.

Create your own job if one doesn’t exist

If you are like me, you look at your list of skills that you are good at and you are not sure which subsets you want to pursue. You are not sure what job can best use your skills. Then, give yourself time to figure it out. There are many opportunities to find freelance work that will allow you to try out different career paths.

Often, hands-on experience is the best way to learn whether you truly enjoy a certain job. Many entrepreneurs try and fail at many businesses before succeeding in one. Keep trying to move your needle closer to the finish line. It’s almost a requirement to keep trying.

No one gets it right the first time.

As innovation dynamically grows in the marketplace, by trying to create your perfect job, you are also up-skilling your skillsets. You are going with the tide to figure out what job you will truly enjoy in the future workplace.


Future of work can be scary if you are not used to change. But, it’s even more scary if you don’t try. The solution is not to pigeon-hole yourself into jobs that may not fit you just because there are more jobs in that area. Instead, try to use all of your best skills to come up with a job that you are best suited for.

Check out my website.

Jun Wu is a Hybrid Journalist for Technology, AI, Data Science. She has a background in programming and statistics.

Source: Future Of Work: We Can’t All Become Coders

WorkingNation highlights the trend of technology and globalization replacing jobs in diverse industries across the United States.

11 Things Smart People Won’t Say At Work

There are some things you simply never want to say at work.

These phrases carry special power: they have an uncanny ability to make you look bad even when the words are true.

Worst of all, there’s no taking them back once they slip out.

I’m not talking about shocking slips of the tongue, off-color jokes, or politically incorrect faux pas. These aren’t the only ways to make yourself look bad.

Often it’s the subtle remarks—the ones that paint us as incompetent and unconfident—that do the most damage.

No matter how talented you are or what you’ve accomplished, there are certain phrases that instantly change the way people see you and can forever cast you in a negative light. These phrases are so loaded with negative implications that they undermine careers in short order.

How many of these career killers have you heard around the office lately?

1. “It’s not fair.”

Everyone knows that life isn’t fair. Saying it’s not fair suggests that you think life is supposed to be fair, which makes you look immature and naïve.

If you don’t want to make yourself look bad, you need to stick to the facts, stay constructive, and leave your interpretation out of it. For instance, you could say, “I noticed that you assigned Ann that big project I was hoping for. Would you mind telling me what went into that decision? I’d like to know why you thought I wasn’t a good fit, so that I can work on improving those skills.”

2. “This is the way it’s always been done.”

Technology-fueled change is happening so fast that even a six-month-old process could be outdated. Saying this is the way it’s always been done not only makes you sound lazy and resistant to change, but it could make your boss wonder why you haven’t tried to improve things on your own. If you really are doing things the way they’ve always been done, there’s almost certainly a better way.

3. “No problem.”

When someone asks you to do something or thanks you for doing something, and you tell them no problem, you’re implying that their request should have been a problem. This makes people feel as though they’ve imposed upon you.

What you want to do instead is to show people that you’re happy to do your job. Say something like “It was my pleasure” or “I’ll be happy to take care of that.” It’s a subtle difference in language, but one that has a huge impact on people.

4. “I think …/This may be a silly idea …/I’m going to ask a stupid question.”

These overly passive phrases instantly erode your credibility. Even if you follow these phrases with a great idea, they suggest that you lack confidence, which makes the people you’re speaking to lose confidence in you.

Don’t be your own worst critic. If you’re not confident in what you’re saying, no one else will be either. And, if you really don’t know something, say, “I don’t have that information right now, but I’ll find out and get right back to you.”

5. “This will only take a minute.”

Saying that something only takes a minute undermines your skills and gives the impression that you rush through tasks. Unless you’re literally going to complete the task in 60 seconds, feel free to say that it won’t take long, but don’t make it sound as though the task can be completed any sooner than it can actually be finished.

6. “I’ll try.”

Just like the word think, try sounds tentative and suggests that you lack confidence in your ability to execute the task. Take full ownership of your capabilities. If you’re asked to do something, either commit to doing it or offer an alternative, but don’t say that you’ll try because it sounds like you won’t try all that hard.

7. “He’s lazy/incompetent/a jerk.”

There is no upside to making a disparaging remark about a colleague. If your remark is accurate, everybody already knows it, so there’s no need to point it out. If your remark is inaccurate, you’re the one who ends up looking like a jerk.

There will always be rude or incompetent people in any workplace, and chances are that everyone knows who they are. If you don’t have the power to help them improve or to fire them, then you have nothing to gain by broadcasting their ineptitude. Announcing your colleague’s incompetence comes across as an insecure attempt to make you look better. Your callousness will inevitably come back to haunt you in the form of your coworkers’ negative opinions of you.

8. “That’s not in my job description.”

This often sarcastic phrase makes you sound as though you’re only willing to do the bare minimum required to keep getting a paycheck, which is a bad thing if you like job security.

If your boss asks you to do something that you feel is inappropriate for your position (as opposed to morally or ethically inappropriate), the best move is to complete the task eagerly. Later, schedule a conversation with your boss to discuss your role in the company and whether your job description needs an update. This ensures that you avoid looking petty. It also enables you and your boss to develop a long-term understanding of what you should and shouldn’t be doing.

9. “It’s not my fault.”

It’s never a good idea to cast blame. Be accountable. If you had any role—no matter how small—in whatever went wrong, own it. If not, offer an objective, dispassionate explanation of what happened. Stick to the facts, and let your boss and colleagues draw their own conclusions about who’s to blame.

The moment you start pointing fingers is the moment people start seeing you as someone who lacks accountability for their actions. This makes people nervous. Some will avoid working with you altogether, and others will strike first and blame you when something goes wrong.

10. “I can’t.”

I can’t is it’s not my fault’s twisted sister. People don’t like to hear I can’t because they think it means I won’t. Saying I can’t suggests that you’re not willing to do what it takes to get the job done.

If you really can’t do something because you truly lack the necessary skills, you need to offer an alternative solution. Instead of saying what you can’t do, say what you can do. For example, instead of saying “I can’t stay late tonight,” say “I can come in early tomorrow morning. Will that work?” Instead of “I can’t run those numbers,” say “I don’t yet know how to run that type of analysis. Is there someone who can show me so that I can do it on my own next time?”

11. “I hate this job.”

The last thing anyone wants to hear at work is someone complaining about how much they hate their job. Doing so labels you as a negative person and brings down the morale of the group. Bosses are quick to catch on to naysayers who drag down morale, and they know that there are always enthusiastic replacements waiting just around the corner.

Bringing It All Together

Eliminating these phrases from your vocabulary pays dividends. They have a tendency to sneak up on you, so you’re going to have to catch yourself until you’ve solidified the habit of not saying them.

What other phrases should be on this list? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

I am the author of the best-selling book Emotional Intelligence 2.0 and the cofounder of TalentSmart, a consultancy that serves more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies and is the world’s leading provider of emotional intelligence tests and training (www.TalentSmart.com). My books have been translated into 25 languages and are available in more than 150 countries. I’ve written for, or been covered by, Newsweek, BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Harvard Business Review.

 

Source: 11 Things Smart People Won’t Say At Work

If You Understand How You Fit, You’re Five Times More Likely To Be Inspired At Work

Few work experiences are as demoralizing as not knowing how your work fits into your company’s larger strategy or goals. It’s hard to thrive when the day-to-day feels meaningless, and I’ve got the data to prove it.

My firm recently conducted a study of 13,771 employees and asked them whether their bosses have explained how their work fits into the department or organization’s strategy or goals. As you can see, a paltry 21% of bosses are “always” connecting their employees’ work to some larger strategy or goal.

But there’s an even bigger twist: We also discovered that people whose bosses “always” tie their work to a larger strategy are nearly five times more likely to be inspired at work than those whose bosses “never” does.

While it might be momentarily satisfying to blame all the bosses for not doing a better job at connecting employees’ work to something bigger, the truth is that individual employees also have some responsibility.

In this same study, we asked people to rate the statement: “When I get an assignment, I find out how it fits into our organization’s strategy and goals.” And here again, we found that a minuscule 18% are “always” taking the extra step to find out for themselves how their work fits into their organizations’ goals.

But as you might expect, the people who do take that extra step are 5.7 times more likely to be inspired at work than those who “never” do.

If we want to enjoy and succeed at our jobs, the implication of this study seems obvious—we’ve got to proactively learn how our work fits into our organizations’ strategies and goals. This is accomplished with a four-part conversation, which, when done right, can also teach your boss how to share this information in the future without being asked.

But a word of caution before I give you the script: This conversation cannot feel like an attack on, or an end-run around, your boss. If your boss suspects that you’re looking for ways to usurp or chastise them for poor leadership, they’re likely to respond defensively (or worse).

There’s also a chance that your boss may not always know how your work ties into a larger strategy (your boss may actually feel in-the-dark about his or her own work). So always approach this conversation with caring, genuine curiosity and the mindset that you may not get every question answered.

Here’s the four-part script for talking to your boss about how your work connects to the organization’s (or department’s) larger strategy or goals.

Step 1: Find an agreeable time to have deep conversation by asking your boss, “Would you be willing to have a conversation with me about this new assignment? I find it really interesting and I’d love to learn more.”

It’s always a good idea to start the conversation by asking permission (i.e. “would you be willing”). Your boss will be instantly disarmed because you’ve made it clear that you’re approaching the conversation as an opportunity to learn, not to accuse. Additionally, the phrase “I find it really interesting” alleviates a common and understandable fear among bosses that employees only want face-time in order to gripe about something.

Step 2: Having opened the conversation, now say, “I appreciate you taking the time to give me your advice and thoughts on this project because I’d love to learn more about it and I really want to knock it out-of-the-park. So the first thing I’m curious about is whether there was some kind of strategic initiative or goal that sparked the need for this project?”

It’s important to reinforce your genuine interest and curiosity in the project before you ask about the impetus for the project. Don’t skip this step unless you have a sufficiently deep relationship with your boss that allows you to approach this conversation more forcefully. In general, it’s better to err on the side of tact and caution in these conversations.

Step 3: Ask, “Is there anything you’d like me to know about how this will get used (or incorporated into a larger project or initiative)?”

You don’t want to come right out and demand to know what the boss really intends to do with your work on this project. While there are certainly bosses who will appropriate employee work as their own, it’s awfully accusatory for a conversation like this. Instead, give them the choice to share or not share. This actually increases the odds that they will share, telling you a great deal about how this project connects to larger strategic initiatives.

Step 4: Finally, ask “Do you envision more projects like this coming in the future?”

If this is the only project of its kind, there’s a good chance there isn’t a grand strategy or goal underneath. But if this is just one of many similar projects, that’s a big clue as to the shape of your organization’s larger strategy and goals.

You probably noticed that this conversation is focused on specific assignments, rather than on your job as a whole. The reason for that is simple: If you directly ask your boss “How does my job fit into the company’s larger strategy?” there’s a very good chance you won’t get a coherent answer. That’s a big, abstract question, and most leaders won’t have a prepared response.

Instead, by gently probing for information about your current or latest project, you’re can tease out and piece together how your work connects to a larger strategy.

You may have to conduct this conversation a few times to fully glean how your work relates to a bigger strategy. But with enough repetition, you’ll typically find that your boss will start to proactively offer these insights.

Ready for the next challenge? Tune in on August 6 for Day 7.

Miss a challenge? Click here for Day 5: Take stock of your days.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website or some of my other work here.

I’m the founder of http://www.LeadershipIQ.com, a New York Times bestselling author and I teach the leadership course What Great Managers Do Differently I am the author of five books, including “Hundred Percenters: Challenge Your People to Give It Their All and They’ll Give You Even More.” Some of my research studies include “Are SMART Goals Dumb?,” “Why CEO’s Get Fired,” “Why New Hires Fail,” “High Performers Can Be Less Engaged,” and “Don’t Expect Layoff Survivors to Be Grateful.” I’ve lectured at The United Nations, Harvard Business School, Microsoft, Merck, MasterCard, Charles Schwab and Aflac, among others.

Source: If You Understand How You Fit, You’re Five Times More Likely To Be Inspired At Work

%d bloggers like this: