As 2020 approaches, the time of predicting the future begins because at the turn of the year we all think about what awaits us next year and how to prepare for it. And obviously there are things that we should be ready for – fast development of technologies and roboticization processes will touch the labor market and only those who will adapt quickly and efficiently will remain relevant. For this reason, I want to share the projections of what lies ahead for us in 2020 and how to win in the competitive battle.
Robotization is not as scary as you think
More and more processes in the labor market are automated – mechanical and routine tasks are increasingly performed by robots. As a result, skills that are sufficient to perform only those actions become less important. For this reason, accountants, telemarketing managers, data typers, archivists, cashiers and production workers will be in low demand.
This trend will evolve and robots will take on more jobs that once belonged to us, humans. However, there is definitely no need to fear or to stop robotization processes. Firstly, because at least for the time being robots are not able to properly assess human reactions, moods or intentions, therefore they cannot replace humans in certain situations. For this reason, the apocalyptic predictions that robots will take away jobs from all of us are, to say the least, unfounded.
My HR colleague that I fully agree with, Raimonda Alonderiene, Director of Human and Organizational Development at Devbridge, is well aware in this article that there is room for both robot and human in the labor market, so we need to learn how to combine different competencies into one.
“I think it is better not to oppose, but to relate competencies. It is obvious that in some cases robots do a better job. So it is not appropriate to encourage people to try to be better than machines rather than focus on things that human beings are better at and concentrate their focus there”, – says R. Alonderienė.
What is exactly important then?
Of course, hard skills remain important, but social skills are also increasingly valued. Employers focus on excellent communication skills, not only in sales or customer service, but also in finance, data analytics or even IT sectors now. That is because even if technology allows you to see a huge amount of data, it is equally important to present it correctly to your colleagues or clients and to bring the best insights from it.
According to a survey conducted by Adobe, for 36% of all sectors, the key skill will be the ability to solve problems in a complex way. That is to respond to emerging, uncertain challenges and to find appropriate solutions.
The advice sounds nice, but people are often frightened that even those problems can be already solved by robots. It is true that technology can facilitate tasks and solve problems, but they are only capable of handling simpler challenges so far. The complexity of the human contribution to particular results still requires a human being to solve some of the problems.
Therefore, innovation, creativity and flexibility are skills that will help people to stand out in the labor market next year. Innovative thinking is highly valued for finding new ways not only to solve emerging problems, but also to bring innovation to the market, thus increasing competitive advantage.
Creativity is also a crucial skill for business development. With this rapidly changing environment, being able to change your thinking and attitude and find an unexpected and unconventional solution will bring great success to work in just about any company and position. As a result, companies are valuing creative thinking, and its continuous development will undoubtedly help to have a greater advantage in the market. Time planning skills, the ability to adapt to the situation and other team members also become very important.
Let’s not fight technology – become friends instead
In the age of robotization, it is very important not only to develop capabilities that cannot be replaced by technology, but also to understand the technologies around us. Great Microsoft Office management skills are no longer enough. There are a variety of specific technology tools that the employee is expected to learn to use and manage.
When it comes to financial professionals, this can include accounting software (Navision, Axapta, SAP, Rivilė, etc.) or various data management and analytics systems or tools such as SQL, QlickView and others. When it comes to engineering companies, it is important to work not only with Autocad, but to be also familiar with Solidworks, Revit, 3D design and modeling software.
Finally, programming languages, which in a sense have been less sought after over the last few years, have become increasingly important to IT professionals. It is Java and PHP. The importance of mobile application programming languages Swift and Kotlin and modern programming language frameworks ReactJS and NodeJS continues to grow.
Large amounts of data are now inseparable from technology. More and more companies want to be data-driven so the knowledge and experience of data analytics have a huge perspective – those who are able to analyze the data and make the best decisions based on it will be particularly needed in 2020.
Emerging technologies and a rapidly changing world are bringing changes to the labor market. However, they should not be feared or stopped. There will be a need for those who are able to adapt quickly and efficiently to changing situations. And the easiest way to do this is by nurturing soft skills that are not yet implemented by technology and enthusiastically exploring the exceptional technology revolution which we all have an opportunity to witness.