I received a notification from my bank informing me that my branch was being closed. I was advised to install their banking app and conduct most of my business online and through mobile money. Traditional banking as we know it is rapidly changing. Technology is enabling this revolution. With a smartphone I can send and receive money across the world. I can borrow and lend money without any intermediary. I can trade Forex and buy Bitcoin. I can open up an account on the phone. Many jobs are going to be lost in the banking sector. Technology is going to disrupt the entire professional job market in other industries as well. Any kind of clerical job in office is going to be automated. Many traditional jobs like lawyers, accountants, teachers, etc. will eventually disappear.
However, we should not despair. This is a huge opportunity for all of us. All technology revolutions eventually create more fulfilling jobs and opportunities. There are certain unique human attributes which are not so easy to automate. Things like empathy, creativity, problem solving, leadership, emotional connection, intuition, imagination, etc. These are the attributes we have to work on urgently. We also need to acquire digital real estate and build personal brands. It’s no longer sufficient to just be another Engineer. You have to become “The Money Engineer.” As professionals we have to put ourselves out there and become opinion leaders in our fields. All professionals should have updated online profiles and personal websites. They should offer valued opinions on public interest matters. They should offer their services beyond their current employers. They should be multi-skilled. They should be technology savvy and be able to utilize the new tools to provide better services. Professionals should stay ahead of the trends in their fields. Of course they must be financially literate to navigate life changing events like the loss of a job.
When technology eventually disrupts your profession you will be better prepared to face the world.