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Monday, April 17, 2017

No Matter How Good You Are, You Can Always Be Replaced

Have you ever heard these quotes?

Everyone's job is important, but no one is indispensable.

No one is indispensable. Even Me.

If you think you are indispensable, think again, because you might be wrong. Few years ago, IT giants used to layoff workforce based on poor performance and at times due to the pressure of global economic crisis. But now with the rapid advances in technology low level jobs might be under threat from software programs called BOTs. These BOTs are powered by artificial intelligence and have the ability to self-learn. Yes, digitization is the new normal in Indian IT Services Industry.

Your employer runs a business and every business needs to be profitable. You might be doing a great job for your organization but in the rapidly changing context it is better to get yourself a reality check. Here are some tough questions that you should ask yourself:

1. Is your job going to be relevant in the next 5 years or is it candidate for automation or digitization?

2. Will your skill or knowledge continue to contribute towards making your employer's business profitable?

3. Can a professional with n-1 or n-2 level of work experience do the same job that you are doing today?

4. In future, is there a probability that the customer may not pay as much money as they are paying today to get the work done?

5. When was the last time you learned a new skill or a new process or a new technology? Are you getting outdated?

Your honest answer to these questions will tell you the exact situation of your job/ career. Your answer to these questions may be a call for action for you because no matter how good you are, you can always be replaced due to circumstances and changes that you don't control. Here are some of the actions that you should take immediately...

1. Identify and work out a Plan B for your future. This Plan B can be an alternate skill that you will learn or an alternate part-time business that you will run in parallel to your job.

2. Save enough funds for the difficult times. At least have 6 months of salary in your bank account to face any adverse situation in case you lose your job.

3. Predict the future of your industry. Read relevant articles published by top research companies to understand where the industry is headed and what are the potential job/ career opportunities of the future. Forecast your learning and training needs and be prepared to reskill yourself.

To summarize, with changing times one needs to be prepared to do more and at the same time do something which is futuristic and acts as a differentiator. Sitting comfortably with the same job for years and years may mean that you are flirting with danger. It is time to not only think outside the box but also it is high time to act outside the box.