Isn’t it scary?
The disappearance of task workers.
This basic seismic shift is so frightening that we often point towards the symptoms rather than the truth. Task workers are progressively becoming unnecessary.
For those of us who do tasks, if we have not yet learned how to change our lives, this problem appears to be unfixable.
We come from a history that didn’t give us much on the topic of personal change.
Is task work getting replaced by technology?
Prior to the industrial revolution, change happened at a glacial pace. When we invented mass manufacturing, the world went through one revolutionary change that lasted for three hundred years.
The kind of anger and political unrest that we witness today has a great deal of similarity to what happened three hundred years ago when the industrial revolution handed out pink slips to virtually everyone who worked.
For three hundred years we built a solid middle-class out of task work. The middle-class filled out quotas, stood in assembly lines, finished tax returns, smiled and answered phones. Some became good taskmasters, which led to mid-management roles.
Now, we have to make fundamental shifts that require new skills, wakefulness, and a change of heart. Task work is being replaced by software and technology in bigger and bigger waves.
Are task workers underemployed?
Today, most task work is driven by logic, which typically requires working from our left-brain. Logic is all about numbers, critical thinking, black & white.
Those of us who live in our left-brains have great difficulty perceiving right-brain work. But, the right brain is still there waiting for us! Right-brain work includes creativity, design, communications, influencing others, building relationships, engaging, consultative sales, strategy, among others, a lot of stuff our parents warned us not to do.
In my new book, The Workplace Engagement Solution, I talk about how a global engagement figure of 13% isn’t just a business problem, disengagement is a tragedy infecting our lives, families, customer satisfaction and day-to-day living.
The great disengagement of the modern worker is leading directly to the scourge of our modern economy: underemployment.
How many task workers are now part-time task workers? “Consultants?” How many individuals work way below their previous stations in life? You probably know several and they are being destroyed by inaction.
Task workers, unwilling to reinvent, are being eaten alive by resignation and aimlessness.
Can there be a turn-around?
Here are 3 simple, yet effective ways to reinvent yourself when technology tries to render you jobless:
1) Have a Change of Heart
Recognize that pursuing more task-driven work will result in more failure. Make the decision to set aside cynicism, contempt, aimlessness, resignation, and frenzy as ways to block and forget this basic truth.
Develop the willingness to invest in a new life. Recognize that behind every epic change that eliminates old jobs, new opportunities appear.
For example, 3-D printing will wipe out assembly lines and portions of shipping, distribution, & warehousing. It will also produce a whole new class of entrepreneurs who manufacture goods, products, even art from their homes and offices.
Artificial Intelligence will wipe out a whole slew of jobs. But it will introduce millions of new ones such as a cure for cancer and free college education.
2) Learn “The Courage Skills”
Moving from the old to the new world requires that we learn new skillsets.
As the speed of change increases, skills that we used to dismiss become vitally important. These can include the ability to draw attention to oneself, to sell, present, and to influence others.
We will need to become adept at building effective support systems and communities that back our mission, vision, and purpose.
Ready to dismiss this idea? In a world filled with speed, no one will know that you are there.
3) Become a Constant Learner
Active learners own the new world of work. In the years ahead, change will only grow more exponential.
For those of us who simply react to change with anger, the future will be quite painful. For those of us who take the initiative to grow, the near future is already showing that we can create untold abundance, wealth, and freedom.
Information sprouts fresh and new every day. The more that we learn to learn the easier it becomes to grow and growth is a new security.
What hurdles lie in your way?
Fear and Numbness.
The average American watches four hours of television and five hours using “devices.” We consume 152 pounds of sugar per year, use 80% of the world’s legal and illegal drugs, and have become masterful in checking out from these frightening changes rather than dealing with them head-on.
If you relate to any of this (and I believe we all do), invest time in learning how to change. If you are mastering or have mastered this new game, help inspire others to do the same.
Frankly, I want to live in a world where people are doing what they love, using technology to be even more successful and free.