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Monday, April 15, 2024

Navigating the changing career landscape in the AI Era

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James Pak

By James Pak
The author is head counselor of LA Career Coaching.

In this new age of generative Artificial Intelligence (AI), the employment landscape is expected to undergo a dramatic transformation. Goldman Sachs recently estimated that generative AI could automate the equivalent of 300 million full-time jobs. Even now, IBM’s CEO is pausing hiring for certain office roles, anticipating that roughly 7,800 office jobs at the company could be replaced by Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the coming years.

With the ongoing automation of numerous roles, corporate job security is diminishing, and competition for remaining positions is projected to increase. Therefore, young people cannot rely on the mindset that an employer will provide long-term job and income stability. Young people will need to take more control of their professional career path by adopting an entrepreneurial mindset, even if they are not intending to start their own business.

Here are my suggestions on what young people can do to develop a more entrepreneurial mindset:

Pursue activities that develop key entrepreneurial skills: Problem-solving, creativity, resilience, and strategic thinking are crucial for developing an entrepreneurial mindset. Students should engage in activities and learning experiences that nurture these skills. This could involve taking on leadership roles in school clubs, initiating personal projects, or seeking out learning experiences that enhance these entrepreneurial skills.

Build a personal brand: I don’t mean that one needs to become the next viral TikTok star, but in an increasingly competitive job market, it is crucial for young professionals to stand out. Employers increasingly want to see evidence of how an employee can contribute. Just as companies have marketing materials that promote their value, it would be a good idea for students to have a website where they showcase their work, including class projects or work from extracurricular activities. They can also write thought pieces that demonstrate their knowledge and thinking.

Develop their network: Human relationships will be increasingly important for career success. Cultivating relationships with mentors, industry leaders, and peers can provide new perspectives and employment opportunities.

Create multiple income streams: The days of relying solely on a corporate paycheck are fading. It’s prudent for young individuals to start investing wisely to create additional income sources through investing and/or side projects.

Enhance financial literacy: Earning money is just one aspect of financial health; knowing how to invest and grow wealth is equally important. Even if a student is not pursuing a finance career, they must know the fundamentals of investing.

Commit to lifelong learning: Continuous learning in various disciplines, not just AI and technology, is vital to stay adaptable and innovative in our rapidly evolving world. If learning stops after school, it will be very challenging for young people to keep up with the ever-changing society.

Adopt a growth mindset: A growth mindset sees failure not as a defeat but as an opportunity for learning and development. This perspective fuels resilience, a critical skill for success, and fosters a positive approach towards challenges and risks.

Embrace risks and challenges: Challenges are often stepping stones to innovation. By accepting projects that stretch their capabilities, young individuals can foster their ability to step out of their comfort zones and grow.

As with any major disruption, individuals can view it with fear or as an opportunity. Embracing a more entrepreneurial mindset will help young people approach the expected disruption with an opportunistic viewpoint, enabling them to succeed in the changing career landscape.