Millions of us wake up one morning to the haunting realization that we’re losing the battle to avoid becoming obsolete on the job. It affects those in their 20s, while others don’t see the darkness descend until they’re much older. Some are high school dropouts, others are college graduates, or successful professionals. It can strike anyone. Even successful financial professionals.
(Related: 9 Mistakes That Doom Your Firm’s Marketing)
Oxford researchers Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osbourne, according to a USA Today article, estimate that “47% of American jobs are at high risk of automation by the mid 2030s.”
Some may run faster or be in denial, but Steve Tobak got it right on CBS Radio when he said, “Nobody wants to believe they’re the problem, that they’re in over their head.” In other words, that they’re obsolete. It can happen to anyone at any age and at any point in their work life.
If you want to avoid becoming an obsolete worker, here are a few ideas to consider:
1. Don’t try to pass the passionate test
Those speaking passionately about their passion for their job may have a credibility problem. Anyone committed to their work doesn’t need to broadcast it. Their performance speaks more eloquently than anything they might say.
In fact, being passionate about one’s work is not all it’s cracked up to be, at least that’s what researchers at the University of Quebec at Montreal discovered. They found that being passionate about work leads to burnout, not success.
However, a colleague of mine cracked the code. At the end of every meeting, he wrote down a list of tasks that were discussed. He then announced, “Who’s going to do what to whom and when?” In other words, who’s going to get the job done? Believing we should be passionate about our work is naïve, while making a commitment to do our best work is a measurable objective.
2. Don’t expect work-life balance
The promise of a work-life balance isn’t new, but it got a boost as technology eroded the wall between the two.