CEO’s Thoughts : 5 Steps on How Humans Can Beat The Robots in The Digital Age!

You’ve seen them in the news … SCB is downsizing 12,000 employees and reducing 700+ retail branches in the next 2 – 3 years. Not only banking sector is impacted, DTAC, the 3rd largest telecom operator is slashing its workforce by 1,000 this year.

The fact of the matter is technology, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and robots are more productive, less prone to errors, and can do a better job than humans. Are we finally arriving in an era where a movie like “I, Robot” becomes a reality!? I’d like to share with you then the following 5 steps on how you can beat the robots and survive in the Digital Age!

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1ST STEP: EVALUATE YOUR CURRENT SKILLS

Ask yourself, have you learned one new skill the past year? Even better, the past 6 months? Let’s say you’re a Marketing Manager, what are the new skills you need to have in today’s market? The obvious answer is how to do online / social media marketing. If you’re just a traditional marketer who knows only offline channels (TV, billboards, newspaper, radio, events, etc.), it’s just not enough!

These channels are dying and difficult to find out return on investment (ROI). If you’re a marketer and you don’t know the basic online marketing such as boosting Facebook post, using Google AdWords, or embedding analytics into a website, you’re at risk!

Looking at a job function, also ask yourself whether automation will be better off for the business. For example, a white collar high paying job such as Sales Trader in financial services industry is already going away. Now there are computerized trading algorithm that can better decide when and how to trade financial instruments, taking away human errors and emotions from making a bad decision on investment. If technologies can do a better job than your current role, you MUST up your skills.

2ND STEP: EVALUATE YOUR CURRENT INDUSTRIES

What about your industries, are they at risk? Based on above news and earlier example, the financial services industry is being disrupted. So why do banks close down branches? Because routine financial transaction can now be done on mobile app without having to personally visit a retail branch. So if bank retail branches are at risk, will industry with many outlets be affected too? Definitely! Offline retailers such as fashion store chain or hypermarkets such as Big C and Tesco will go through a similar shift. Have your heard of Amazon Go? It is a new kind of retail store with no checkout required. It’s a walk in, walk out shopping experience! So if you’re a cashier and in a retail industry, you need to start looking for a new job.


3RD STEP: INVEST IN YOURSELF

here is no need to wait for companies to send you to training or having wishful thinking that your company will provide life-time employment; it’s NOT HAPPENING! you need to invest in yourself NOW. If the world requires you know several languages as global citizen and you only know Thai, then it’s time to pick-up a 2nd language, even after work! “But I need work/life balance!” your inner voice says… Sure… is your financial situation ready for a life without employment? Yeah, I don’t think so.

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There are also many online resources to learn new skills for FREE! So no excuses! Check out Khan Academy, LinkedIn Learning, Coursera. Some online courses may require payment but you can watch the video tutorial from experts any where, any time. Check out SkillLane, SkillSolved’s Client, a Thai startup focusing on development of working professionals through video tutorials by experts. Don’t know how to use formula in excel? C’mon you can easily pick it up!

4TH STEP: APPLY TECHNOLOGY IN YOUR WORK

“If you can’t beat them, join them!” If you’re a basketball fan, when Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunders joined the Golden State Warriors, after losing several playoff series, the Golden State Warriors & Kevin Durant won the NBA Championship in 2017! What I mean is, if you can’t beat technologies, then use them in your job. Understand what technologies are capable of and find ways to combine your human skills to offer even better product and services to your clients.

For example, recruitment is one of the industries being impacted by technologies. Now companies hire internal recruiters who use online channel to source, bypassing a headhunter. At SkillSolved, we adapt by partnering with LinkedIn, the largest online professional network & tech platform, to provide Employer Branding solution. In addition, SkillSolved partner with various software solution to provide HR technology tools, assessment, analytics report, and live dashboard to better serve our clients.

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Another clear example is taxi drivers utilizing Grab app in servicing its customers. Not only drivers do not waste time and gasoline money just to get lucky finding a customer on the sidewalk, but they can earn extra cash from Grab for receiving a positive review from passenger’s ride experience and not canceling customer’s destination request

5TH STEP: INITIATE OR ASK TO DO MORE

Trust me on this, the best way to gain new skills is to go ahead and do or ask to take on more responsbilities with your current employer. Why not!? Afraid that since you’re not the owner, you’re working hard for nothing? Afraid that it would go unrecognized? Trust me. A good leader or the right company will always see and appreciate the great work you’re doing! If you already have the trust and the hiring manager believes in you, what a better way to really increase your skills set on the job you haven’t done before. It’s like you’re getting paid to trial and error, learn, and gain new skills by asking to do more. Take it! Don’t whine. Go for it! You’ll be even more ready and adaptable for future challenges. Perhaps, even the Terminator got nothing on you in a boxing match! Try these 5 steps and you will succeed in BEATING the robots!!

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