The future of careers

As consumers, we can see the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in our day to day lives, with the rise of AI assistants, chatbots and the concept of driverless vehicles.

Recent research and studies indicate AI will continue to be disruptive across industries and markets. According to PwC UK, approximately 20% of UK jobs are at high risk of displacement.

The Power of AI

The rise of AI is in response to the need for greater productivity and efficiency in the workplace. Therefore the power of AI is seen to be increasingly attractive for businesses and is gathering pace because it will automate processes and reduce the recurring costs of production. Further research by PwC, indicates AI will have the power to increase production by up to 25% by 2035.

The impact of AI on careers

The impact AI will have on careers in basic terms will mean some jobs become obsolete, for example, some of the more mundane, day to day transactional tasks. You may think, “that’s not so bad - less admin, whoop whoop,” but let’s consider the effects.

PwC highlights the industry sectors which are at high risk of displacement due to AI:

  • Manufacturing (-25%)

  • Transport and storage (-22%)

  • Public administration (-18%)

Conversely, research also indicates that 20% of new roles will be created due to AI displacement*. These new roles would require ‘human skills,’ such as emotional intelligence, creativity and innovation. Good news if you use at least one of these skills in your day to day role. 

AI Assistants and chatbots

As mentioned, research suggests, the proliferation of chatbots and AI assistants into our everyday lives will continue. They will also be able to converse with individuals in real time, thus breaking down language and geographical barriers. This is an interesting consideration when working with colleagues and clients globally or when designing global toolkits and campaigns, perhaps.

In this changeable and disruptive world of work, we can see the numerous ways in which careers could be impacted.

The Perfect Match

 The quest to find the ‘perfect candidate’ for the ‘perfect job,’ depending on which side of the job market you are on, is another way AI is impacting the career marketplace.

 LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner’s, mission is to create a global “economic graph,” which will hold all of the job listings in the world. List all the skills required to get those jobs. Identify all of the learning and development establishments who teach those skills. As well as the professionals who could fill them and list all the companies where those professionals work.

With this type of data and insight, LinkedIn wants to create greater economic opportunities for every member of the global workforce.

It won’t be long before this type of AI is embedded within other career marketplaces and ATS systems within the Talent/HR functions. This will pose both opportunities and threats to the recruitment market as a whole.

However, the challenge for career champions will be this. If AI is being taught to provide the best interpretation of data sets to find the “perfect candidate,” based on a number of prescribed algorithms, what impact could this have on those who are consistently being ruled out as the ‘imperfect’ candidate?

So what does this mean for your career?

I believe we career champions need to place more emphasis into developing long term career goals and plans, in order to grab a seat at the interview table.

In order to do this, we need to have a deeper insight into the job opportunity marketplace and this changeable and disruptive world of work. We need to be open to change and be continually learning and developing ourselves.

Savvy career champions know the benefit of future proofing their careers to create roles, which are not only rewarding but robust enough to withstand some of these external pressures.

For others it means defying typical routes to career success within a corporate environment and carving out their own career destiny.

Czarina Charles,

Managing Director, Flourish Careers

Special thanks to my dad for his insights and interest in AI.

*PWC economics July 2018.