Technology is wonderful. It has unlocked our imaginations and creativity in ways we never thought possible. However, while technology has helped society progress in many ways, it will soon reach a point of being less of an assistance resource and will become our own competition.
In 10 to 20 years, 40% of professional roles will gradually become irrelevant as technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) get increasingly smarter and more human-like. So how can you shift yourself and your career to remain relevant in the changing workforce?
In this article we shine light on how creating a personal brand separate from a company’s will be crucial in standing out against the encumbering technology shift. We take you through four key steps to future-proof yourself in the evolving technology and AI workforce.
Human work will never be fully replaced by technology. Instead, it will force employees to work in different ways. Where humans once stood at the forefront, technological changes could see us working alongside or behind the technology instead; controlling and monitoring it. Since the introduction of drones and robots, there has been talk that they will soon be used for fast food delivery and even mail delivery. While this would replace the need for people to personally deliver food, it would create more jobs in programming technology. On a more professional level, AI is being used as receptionists to book appointments and answer calls. While the mistakably human voice will replace the need for secretaries to answer phones, it could mean they will be required to take on new skills and tasks that AI is not yet able to do. With these impeding changes, it will become even more crucial for individuals to stand out and create a personal brand.
Tip: Think of the qualities you can offer that technology cannot replace. Adding skills such as adaptable, creative thinker, problem solver, strong communicator and interpersonal skills to your resume will exert a strong personal brand worth a company’s time and investment.
While technology already consumes numerous hours of the day, do not forget the significance of face-to-face communication, networking and collaborating in the workforce. Technology has the ability to hold hundreds and thousands of contacts but it is just that. A phonebook that will never replace the power of personal connections. Engage in these types of interactions to upskill, build connections and create your own black book of contacts.
Tip: Attend industry events, conferences and workshops to network and learn new things happening in the industry.
Comparatively, collaboration does not always need to be face-to-face.
Tip: Join a credible online business hub or group that provide tutorials, workshops and expert assistance in the areas of business, finance, career, health and marketing. This will allow you to learn, grow and share from the comfort of your own desk. Change your mindset from competition to collaboration and as technology becomes smarter, the age old saying ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ will be more important than ever.
Make your assets digital
Making yourself resilient to the technology advancements in the workforce does not mean becoming anti-technology. Instead, it’s imperative to be active and comfortable with technology platforms to increase your credibility and give you a competitive edge.
Tip: Complete credible short online courses to enhance your personal brand and professional portfolio.
This shows employers that you are proactive and willing to hone skills that may not be perfect or known as of yet. An employee that is willing to learn will be more valuable to a company than one that thinks they already know it all. A great way to showcase courses, skills and knowledge is to make your personal brand digital.
Tip: Use a website to showcase design, art or writing skills and make sure the homepage of the website tells employers exactly what you want them to know about you. It is also a great idea to have a tab with your resume to list courses and qualifications. Link your social media accounts to the website and carry the theme of your website through these mediums. Consistency makes a strong personal brand.
Create an impression through your appearance
The final step to creating a personal brand is to project it externally through a distinctive style and fashion. It is a known fact that people are more reactive to visual creative expressions. While technology such as robots and AI is extremely impressive, it does not generally get its ‘wow factor’ from its appearance.
Tip: Ensure your style strengthens your personal brand and exerts confidence and charisma. If you work in a corporate environment don’t opt for the classic black and white pant suit. Show that you are adaptable and creative by adding a colour that best represents you. Think of what you want to be remembered for in an interview. Will you be the person with red hair, the individual with exquisite glasses or will you be known for your statement jewellery? If you don’t yet know what your statement image is, undertake a personal styling session or look for inspiration from role models in your industry.
Scarlett Vespa, ‘The Brand Shifter’, is the Founder of the Mrs V personal brand transformation and the collaboration hub Mrs V Society. Scarlett’s passion is to empower executives, entrepreneurs and small business owners to ensure their career is successful and resilient in the workforce. She creates personal brands that reignite the passion and life that is lacking in an individual’s career. For more information on Scarlett Vespa: www.mrsv.com.au.