Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

Staying Relevant In The Age Of Robotics

What once started out as a friendly collaboration has turned into a matter of life and death.

From the sharpened rock 3 million years ago, until the pocket watch 330 years ago, technology was on our side.

But when the Spinning Jenny put the 18th century spinners out of business, our ancient pal became our rival. Machines continued to soil our friendship by robbing the weavers and cloth makers of their jobs.

With no way to put food on the table, English textile craftsman raged against the factories and its machines. Starting a rebellion that lasted five blood-soaked years.

Over 200 years later, technology is still displacing workers. And it’s not just taking over the gigs of farmhands and artisans, but the jobs of people with college degrees.

No matter what you do, part of your job description is going to be done by a robot or machine in the upcoming decades.

Competing with machines is the future. And it’s important to realise we created this rivalry ourselves.

Not only because we’re engineering the machines, but because we’ve built a system made out of standardised and specialised tasks that we call jobs.

Callcenter agent, bus driver and cashier are all curbed professions with a single task. And as the world champion chess player Kasparov already showed us in 1997, we can’t beat computers in narrowly defined fields.

So how do we adjust and stay relevant?

By transitioning to jobs that are more broad and less defined, and digging into projects that require multiple skills and talents to realise.

If a profession can’t be summarised by a set of bullet points, it can’t be done by a machine. (For now.)

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach