1. Broaden your skill set. Instead of worrying about lost responsibilities look towards tasks that require more education, experience, or creative thinking. Let the robots assist you and seize the opportunity to take on new and higher-order tasks. Look for ways to branch out and make yourself more of an asset to your company. In some cases increasing your level of education or broadening your horizons may be required. Look at the big picture and keep pushing forward.
2. Let the robots do the codified work. If you find that stepping up is not a conceivable option for you, look to move out of the way. Let the machines do the work that can be codified by an algorithm and instead focus yourself on work that cannot be completed by computer software. Develop your communication, interpersonal skills, creative thinking and other skill sets that cannot be programmed. Make yourself a necessary addition to your company.
3. Serve as Quality Control for the machines. Computers and machines strictly adhere to the codes and markers within their programs. Machines cannot distinguish between individuals, look at the big picture, or feel empathy. Some circumstances require people to override computers. Companies will always have the need for workers that can monitor their machines, recognize unique circumstances, and intervene as necessary with functions or decisions made by machines. If you find yourself serving as quality control pursue education in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and work on your skills of observation and interpretation.
4. Become the Subject Matter Expert (SME). Educate yourself through on the job training and real life experience to become the SME in your area of work. Practical application and experience will always be more valuable than a computer, machine, or robot. Staying ahead in the game will make you invaluable.
5. Create the next generation of machines. Behind every computer, machine, robot, or electronic device is a person who envisioned and brought it to life. Become the creator, the repairman, the programmer and decoder. Be your very own wizard behind the curtain.
The point is not to run from the robots but to embrace them. Accept the machines, learn to use them or work alongside them. Collaboration between man and machine will produce better results than just man or just machine. Robotics, machines, computers or whatever you may call them are an inevitable reality in the future workforce. Preparing yourself for the impact of the Second Machine Age, by adapting the way you work, will help you secure employment and make you a valuable resource to your company. Do not fear the machines, embrace them.
Harvard Business Review (HBR). Beyond Automation. June 2015. Pg 60.