Our Work Future – What do you see?

Humans, we are ever evolving and adapting to the rapidly changing world that we live in.  So what about our careers and jobs, what do you see as your future job?


There’s an increasing number of articles coming out about the future of our work, as we know it today.  What will our new realities of work look like and can we predict this?  Will there be an increase in robots and AI (artificial intelligence) technology and applications which will have a direct impact on some of our jobs?  The fact is, it’s happening now!  So what can we do about it?


Before we look forward, lets take a short look back on our history.  Think back 15 years ago.  At work the majority of our learning was paper based, phone calls were made via a landline phone, to contact customers we were going out to visit them, we sent our job applications via the post, meetings were held in person and we certainly weren’t checking our emails after hours through a phone!  Our personal lives were different, we were watching movies via a VCR or DVD player, photo’s were taken with a camera, and our social interactions with our friends and family were in person.  So what’s changed?  The major factor is technology, it has changed our lives, and will continue to do so.


So do we need to be worried about technology taking over the world and our jobs?  If you take a look at the following graphic (from the article: https://www.odt.co.nz/lifestyle/magazine/robots-and-us):






It does make the future of some of our more traditional jobs look pretty grim.  And if you want to take it a step further, you can head to the following website, https://willrobotstakemyjob.com/ and enter in your job title.  It will then provide you with a percentage of how likely your job will be replaced by AI and Robots!  And the more you read about the ‘future of work’, there are certainly a range of articles that look at both the good and the negative views.


For me, it’s about encouraging people to think about the future of their work and what can they be doing now to prepare and be ready for change.  Here’s three short video’s that focus on a new way of thinking about the future of our work.

  1. The New Realities of Work (Deloittes) – https://www2.deloitte.com/nz/en/pages/human-capital/topics/future-of-work.html
  2. Future of Work – https://www2.deloitte.com/nz/en/pages/human-capital/topics/future-of-work.html
  3. What is the Impact of Technological Change in the Future of Work – https://www.productivity.govt.nz/inquiry-content/3960?stage=1


And when you have time (I encourage you to make time!) I recommend you to watch a  thought provoking TVNZ documentary titled ‘What Next’ which aired on Tuesday 21st May.  Here Miriama Kamo examines the impact of AI and technology on the next generation.  It’s on TVNZ On Demand, another technology advancement which is now a ‘normal’ part of our lives!


So isn’t this just about adapting to change?  Change is inevitable.  If we focus on the negatives, it will be a waste of our energy and have a detrimental effect on our mental well being.  Instead, lets focus on our future.  We have the opportunity to shape our future, so what can we be doing now?  Here’s my key takeaways:

  • Be more aware of what your job may look like in the future, and take the opportunity to shape it.  We are staying the workforce longer than what has happened historically.
  • Support positive change in our labor market policies, so that we can protect our vulnerable workers.
  • Our education system needs to continue to adapt to our future of work and our changing ways of learning.
  • Have a focus on the importance of lifelong learning.
  • Keep an open mind to change.
  • Be technology fluent.
  • Consider lifelong reinvention.
  • Develop agile ways of working.
  • Support the kids of today (the next generation coming through), as their jobs and careers will more than likely be completely different to what we have now and what we’ve had historically.
  • Think of how we can prepare our children for a world that’s changing so fast.  What and how we’ve done things in the past, isn’t necessarily how our children will do things!

Did you know that the New Zealand Productivity Commission is currently examining (on behalf of the Government) how New Zealand can maximize the opportunities and manage the risks of disruptive technological change and its impact on the future of work and the workforce?  If you’re keen to learn more about this, then please head to their website: https://www.productivity.govt.nz/inquiry-content/3960?stage=2.