Saturday, January 28

Debunking myths on the future of work


PART of our preparation for the future of work is to identify what’s fact and what’s fiction. For example, when someone suggests that automation is going to “take away our jobs”, know that this assumption is not entirely true.

As past industrial revolutions have shown, while some occupations do disappear, new ones are created and existing ones are transformed due to advancements in technology.

In fact, automation through the likes of artificial intelligence and robots replace specific tasks instead of overall jobs and can even help improve our work performance and productivity.

Accepting assumptions like the one above without realising their inaccuracies can hinder your progress towards a successful career.

Therefore, in hopes of giving some peace of mind, this week we look at some myths on the future of work that you should rightfully ignore.

Offices will no longer exist

With the emergence of the gig economy and advancement in communication apps and collaboration tools, you can choose jobs that allow you to work from home or in a co-working space.

Still, offices won’t be disappearing any time soon, as they are no longer limited to workplaces where you commute from home and work for eight hours every weekday.

As such, depending on the nature of your occupation, today’s offices can be as specific as your home office or as broad as the city where you operate in.

Innovation is only applicable to start-ups

Some might tell you that joining a start-up or pursuing entrepreneurship are your only options to break new grounds, but in truth innovation can also occur in established organisations.

These organisations want to thrive in the digital economy to ensure their longevity. Thus, they’ll need talents who are creative and innovative to help them produce new products and services, and transform their business operations.

New skill sets must be mastered quickly

Although we often mention the need to learn new knowledge and skills to adapt to technological changes, you don’t necessarily need to be proficient in them overnight.

Some skills may be difficult to learn, but as long as you open up to new ideas and experiences and commit yourself to continuous improvement, you can develop skill sets required for your career, regardless of how long it takes.

Technical skills matter most

Despite the future of work being tech-driven, you’ll need more than technical skills. As employers, industry experts and academicians have stated, even in the digital economy, young talents need to possess high levels of soft skills to become employable.

And if our past columns are anything to go by, you’ll need both technical and soft skills to perform at your best in the future of work, and most importantly, to have a fulfilling career in the digital economy.

This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.