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In the not too distant past, career paths were mostly predictable. But with Artificial Intelligence and Automation making radical changes in the workplace, there is no longer a clearly foreseeable future at work. Back in the day, all you had to do to ensure a good life was to work for one of the beneficent behemoths: companies like AT&T, Kodak, or General Electric. It was a comfortable if not necessarily the most exciting marriage. You made a commitment to a corporate family where you could grow and be provided for until retirement. Many people were lifers in these organizations, finding jobs straight out of college and working at a single company until retiring at age sixty-five.

People rarely if ever jumped ship. Why would they? There was job security, cost-of-living increases, and a host of other benefits including pension plans and retiree health insurance. Unfortunately, all of that has changed – and not for the better.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average worker currently holds ten different jobs before age forty, and this number is projected to grow. Forrester Research predicts that today's workers will hold twelve to fifteen jobs in their lifetime. Many will be changing yearly. For many, automation and artificial intelligence will make their jobs – and them – economically obsolete.

Given these changes, it becomes critical that each of us takes proactive steps to ensure that our skills are best-in-class and relevant to the jobs that will define what’s come to be known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It’s too easy to become insular and think what we know is enough. Instead, we all need to be vital in the moment –keeping pace with a world and a job market that is rapidly changing.

And the only way to do that is to Future Proof our lives and careers.

Stay tuned as I share stories and suggestions to help you create a road map for success. Here’s just one example from FORBES’ Insights: Become Tech Fluent

“We are used to hearing that every company is a technology company. We believe that, similarly, in order to fully engage in and succeed in today’s new world of work, a majority of people need to think about themselves as technology workers. And by technology, we also mean advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the internet of things. Some companies are beginning to democratize AI by building user-friendly platforms that will allow some of their employees to build their own AI applications. ‘Demand for labor will likely increase the most in the areas where humans complement AI-automation technologies,’ according to Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and the Economy, a 2016 publication by the Executive Office of the President.”

Dr. Sharon Livingston

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