AI reshaping careers: How to adapt in the job market

Nanyang Technological University’s Loh Pui Wah notes how AI reshapes careers, emphasising adaptability and resilience.
By: | June 21, 2024

With the advent and rapid advancement of artificial intelligence (AI), traditional career trajectories across various industries are being reshaped as we speak.

This transformation brings both opportunities and challenges for individuals entering the workforce and those already established in the job market. As a result, personal attributes such as adaptability and resilience have become ever more crucial in navigating this dynamic landscape. Traditional job roles are either being redefined or eliminated, giving rise to new ones emerging by the day.

We read frequently how AI is revolutionising the workplace by automating repetitive tasks, improving productivity, and creating innovative solutions. This is disrupting conventional career paths by rendering specific jobs obsolete while generating demand for new sets of skills for jobs unheard of until recently. We witnessed how intelligent manufacturing had automated workflow and processes, which reduced the need for human intervention and manual labour jobs. We are seeing AI-driven analytics, which opens up new job opportunities in data science and machine learning.

“We are in an age of chaos, an era that intensely, almost violently, rejects structure.” In the face of such inevitability, adaptability has become a prerequisite for career success. Individuals must be open to embracing new technologies as their ancestors once did, from previous industrial revolutions to the digital revolution now. Employees must be willing to learn new skills to take on future and non-traditional roles which the AI-driven economy creates. Incumbents must pivot when necessary, such as updating obsoleted knowledge and skills to stay relevant in their field.

“In the face of such inevitability, adaptability has become a prerequisite for career success.” – Loh Pui Wah, Director, Career and Attachment Office, Nanyang Technological University (NTU)

As the AI-driven economy continues its momentum towards new and yet-to-be-discovered technology frontiers, the job market will evolve as developments unfold over time. Inevitably, it will result in setbacks and challenges for individuals who may be caught in the waves and turbulences of this transformation. Resilience, the ability to bounce back from adversity, is essential for weathering such storms. Whether job loss due to automation or encountering obstacles in career advancement, resilient individuals show perseverance and determination to overcome such difficulties. They see setbacks as catalysts for growth and adapt their strategies accordingly. They dig deep, draw upon inner strength, and show their grit in adversities.

To succeed in the AI world, individuals must proactively own and manage their career trajectories. Continuous learning is critical to success. This can be going back to school, attending online courses or on-the-job training. By keeping abreast of industry trends and acquiring in-demand skills, individuals can position themselves for success in a rapidly changing world.

Networking is particularly important too in developing successful and sustaining careers. Gaining professional contacts and fostering deep relationships within one’s industry can lead to valuable opportunities and insights. In addition, cultivating a strong personal brand through online platforms such as LinkedIn can enhance visibility and attract potential employers and clients.

Furthermore, adopting a growth mindset is vital for adapting to new challenges and seizing opportunities to recreate and reinvent new roles for us. Therefore, do not fear change. Get out of our comfort zones. Be curious and willing to learn even new things which seemingly not related to our current roles. By cultivating a mindset focused on continuous self-improvement, we can thrive in an ever-changing job market.

READ MORE: In the ‘age of AI’, sustainable leadership is vital

In conclusion, the “rise of machines” in the guise of AI is reshaping traditional career trajectories, creating both opportunities and challenges for individuals in the job market. Adaptability and resilience have emerged as critical attributes for navigating this changing landscape, where traditional roles are evolving, and new ones are emerging. By embracing lifelong learning, fostering resilience, and adopting a growth mindset, individuals can successfully navigate the complexities of the AI-driven job market and achieve success in the “Brave New (digital) World.”

About the author: Loh Pui Wah is Director, Career and Attachment Office, at Nanyang Technological University (NTU).

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