Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter answers a question from someone who wants to know how to avoid becoming obsolete.
The summary of the question is, "How can people protect their income potential from the automation redundancies of careers due to technology, . . . especially non-technology professionals?"
The description or the lengthier introduction lays of the history of technology and its impact on people and individuals. The writer says, "Technology is great but what exactly should the individuals do if they choose their own career path? If they invested so much in training and education, only to find out that this career doesn't exist anymore?"
Americans the remember this, but in the 1990s, we used to have this war going on with Russia. We used to call the Cold War; that's different than what is going on now. There was a time when "peace" broke out. George Bush Sr. cut back on defense spending because there was peace going on with the old Soviet Union. The result was that with defense spending cuts, there were a lot of people doing technology-related work, programming in a language called ADA that was unique to the defense industry. Suddenly, the jobs were needed anymore and they were being laid off. The technology was sufficiently unique that they had to start over again and get retrained.
The impact of this was that people making $90,000 per year have to go back to making $40,000 or $45000 per year because they were beginners at this new skill. This person is a non-technologist and is asking this question, yet the answer is pretty much the same.
I remember years ago going to workshop and there was a facilitator there helping a fashion model. The model was someone who is the number 2 model in Europe at that time. This male model came to the United States and he couldn't get any work. The question became, "What should I do? What can I do differently?"
The answer is, when all is said and done, you can either not work here or work there. Basically, he made the decision to go back to Europe, even though he really wants over the United States. He couldn't find work and rather than hit his head against the wall, he adapted and went back to where he was successful.
For this individual, I would basically say, your very simple choice. Once your career has been taken away from you, you need to get yourself up to speed with the newest technology, even though you may have to pay for it, even if you have to take out loans to pay for it, even if you need to pay for more education, and your firm refuses because they are really care about you (remember, you are in charge of your career) OR you have to start fresh doing something else.
At the end of the day, this is what your choices are. You can sing slowly hey, wait until you're 55, 60, 65, or older and be forced out because what you do is an important or you can take the bull by the horns (as the 3rd cliché I've used so far), and attack the problem and do something about it.
Really, those are your only choices. You can't stop the tides of change (that's the 4th cliché). Eventually, the river starts becoming more forceful and it is no longer a new trend in the becomes the norm. If you are in the old environment, you are just going to get overrun as you well know.
I think you knew this answer but you asked the question I gave you your answer. You can either fight it by getting more education and training, even if you have to pay for it orsurrender and get overwhelmed by it. That's really it.
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and business life coaching. He is the host of “Job Search Radio,” “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.”
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