5 Things to Do When AI Takes Your Job

Johannes C. 2 Tallied Votes 794 Views Share

Scared that AI will make your job obsolete? Discover five strategies to adapt, innovate, and thrive in a future where artificial intelligence reshapes the employment landscape.

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Has AI rendered white-collar work obsolete? Image credit: Screenshot from ‘South Park: Joining the Panderverse’

The End of White-Collar Work?

In a satirical yet unsettlingly realistic scenario, South Park's latest episode, "Joining the Panderverse," portrays accountants, lawyers, and insurance brokers hustling for day jobs outside Home Depot. Meanwhile, handymen, now the ruling capitalist class, flaunt their success in luxury cars. This ironic twist sharply captures the prevailing fear among white-collar workers: AI's potential to completely overturn the traditional job market.

Certainly, the rise of AI might create new job types. Yet, the concern looms large that the era of white-collar employment for the masses may be coming to an end. Indeed, in many sectors, a single AI-empowered expert can outperform the collective output of 5 or 10 traditional workers. This efficiency doesn't spell the end of most professions but does cast a shadow of uncertainty over the future of many professionals.

Even licensed professions, seemingly secure for now, face an ambiguous future. You've likely seen responses like "I am not a lawyer/doctor/etc." from AI tools like ChatGPT when asked about information from regulated fields. But the question arises: if GPT-4 can pass the bar exam, what's to stop it from practicing law eventually?

In my opinion, the ground is thinning for nearly everyone whose work isn't anchored in physical skills. We're witnessing a seismic shift that will fundamentally reshape the economy. For those of us not blessed with handyman skills, and instead reliant on our all-too-replicable human brains, it's a wake-up call. What's your plan if AI makes your job obsolete?

Here are 5 practical strategies to consider if AI replaces your job or renders it irrelevant:

#1: Build a Business Locally

Consider a tale from the 2008 financial crisis that became popular on message boards: A man, having lost his office job and facing the pressure of providing for his family, decided to think outside the box. He grabbed his electric drill and began knocking on doors in his neighborhood that lacked a spy hole. When residents answered, he presented a compelling scenario: the drill he held could just as easily have been a gun, and without a spy hole, they'd never know who was outside their door. He offered on-the-spot spy hole installation for $50-or-so. This approach netted him many sales, and he smartly reinvested part of his earnings, eventually building a successful business empire selling alarm systems. His success hinged on nothing more than a simple idea, bulk-purchased door spies, and personal initiative.

The AI revolution could fundamentally alter our economy, but the core principles of business remain the same. Buy low and sell high remains a foolproof approach, as long as you offer something people need. In this evolving economic landscape, small, local businesses have an edge. They can adapt and pivot more easily than their larger corporate counterparts. As the story above illustrates, the key is to find your niche and take the initiative.

#2: Become a Caregiver

If you are looking for a secure job, pursuing a career in caregiving or healthcare emerges as a promising path. The demographics tell the story: an aging population ensures a steady and growing demand for healthcare workers and caregivers. Each year, the need for a larger workforce in elderly care becomes more pressing, offering decades of employment opportunities.

The existence of “care robots” has sparked debates about the future of caregiving, but the essence of this profession lies in its human-centric approach. The social and emotional aspects of caregiving are irreplaceable by machines. While technology can assist, the core of caregiving revolves around human connection, compassion, and understanding. This human element not only makes the role of caregivers secure but also deeply fulfilling.

Hence, it's a career path where the impact you make is measured not just in tasks completed, but in the comfort and happiness you bring to those in need. Caregiving offers the unique satisfaction that comes from making a tangible difference in people's lives, while offering high job security. At least for as long as science hasn't found a way to reverse aging

#3: Take Advantage of Your Own AI Workforce

Not everyone is cut out for door-to-door sales or direct human interaction in their professional life. If this resonates with you, it's time to consider the power of AI as your ally in entrepreneurship. Today's AI technologies offer an unparalleled opportunity. Imagine having a personal business advisor, financial analyst, graphic designer, programmer, content creator, legal consultant, and more, accessible 24/7. These are roles that traditionally come with a hefty price tag, ranging from $50 to don't-dare-to-ask per hour. But now, they can be fulfilled by AI, offering you a cost-effective and efficient way to build your business.

The key here is not to jump straight into launching an AI startup. The dynamic nature of the tech industry, with giants like OpenAI and Google consistently rolling out new updates, can quickly make a narrow AI-focused business model obsolete. Instead, the smarter approach is to leverage AI as a tool to enhance your entrepreneurial endeavors. Use it to refine your ideas, to add efficiency and depth to your projects, and to free up your time to focus on areas that require your unique human touch and passion.

#4: Reclaim Your Innate Skills

The line separating humans from artificial intelligence becomes increasingly defined by our physical form. It's true that individuals might match AI in expertise on certain subjects, but spanning across all fields is a feat beyond our reach. And when it comes to speed, AI invariably has the upper hand. So, what unique trait do we possess that AI lacks?

The answer might be more straightforward than you think: our hands, with their opposable thumbs, fine-tuned by millennia of evolution. (As a side note, maybe this is why AI image generators struggle so much with drawing hands – a hint of jealousy?) Our hands are a symbol of our humanity, connecting us across all cultures and beliefs. Thus, embracing your humanity involves rediscovering and valuing the use of your hands. Consider questions like these:

  • You might type at a lightning-fast pace, but can you sew a button back on your shirt?
  • You might be an expert at navigating food delivery apps, but have you ever experienced the joy of perfectly caramelizing onions in your kitchen?
  • Sure, you can plan a trip halfway around the globe, but can you navigate to the nearest forest without relying on GPS?

The rise of automation offers us a unique opportunity to slow down and relearn basic human skills. It's about doing things for yourself. Cook a tasty meal. Stop using Google Maps. Learn how to use your hands. Be a human, damnit! In this journey of reconnection with our fundamental abilities, you're likely to uncover interests and talents that have been dormant, just waiting for a spark to ignite them.

#5. Be Ready to Hustle!

While the ideas explored so far hopefully spark some inspiration, I see how “cooking a healthy meal” will not pay your bills. The evolving job market, influenced by AI, demands a new kind of hustle. Consider the story of a former salesman who used AI to apply for 5,000 jobs and secured 20 interviews. I think we must be aware that the future – whether on our traditional career paths or exploring new paths – will include a certain amount of hustling. The mantra for navigating this new era: create, adapt, and when necessary, start over. These might be the cornerstones of survival and success in an economy transformed by AI.

Flexibility and adaptability are emerging as crucial skills in this new landscape. The ability to pivot, to learn new things, and to approach challenges with a problem-solving mindset will set apart the thrivers from the mere survivors. In a world where AI is reshaping industries and job roles, those who can quickly adapt to new scenarios, learn from them, and innovate, will find themselves ahead of the curve.

So, embrace this shift with an open mind and a willingness to hustle. Remember, the journey through an AI-driven economy is not just about reaching a destination. It's about growing, learning, and evolving along the way.

John_165 44 Junior Poster

Thanks sharing !

peol 0 Newbie Poster

There has been an increase in white-collar jobs since the pandemic. On the other hand, for example, there are fewer leisure and hospitality jobs than before the pandemic

Johannes C. commented: There have been massive layoffs this year, especially in Big Tech. See here: https://techcrunch.com/2023/11/17/tech-layoffs-2023-list/ +0
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