Everyone wants to learn to code these days. It seems to be a skill we’re now considering indispensable. But what favors do you do yourself by learning a programming language, really? Sean Blanda, writing for productivity and ideas blog the 99u, suggests learning a simple skill won’t help you that much.P
If becoming a programmer is appealing to you, great. But seeking employment based on any one “hard skill” is an outdated way of thinking. The rapid evolution of technology forces us to constantly reconsider which hard skills are in demand. (And we should). Staying on top of the hard skills needed is a necessity in the short term, but one of the best ways to position yourself for success in the long term is to focus on the soft skills needed no matter what technology you are working with.
That shouldn’t deter you from learning to write code, but so long as you remember what most professional developers already know: you’ll be learning to code your entire life. However you engage with technology, it needs to be an ongoing education if you want to have a relevant skill set throughout your life.
The smartest workers will be able to leverage technology to their advantage and be able to recognize the big-picture ways to utilize it. The technology will change. The means of accessing will change. But strategically implementing it will remain in constant demand for tomorrow’s workforce.
As most industrialized nations outsource and automate jobs, labor becomes more abundant and employment harder to come by. In a world of Amazon drones, who needs postal workers? When the Google self-driving car hits the mass market, will we no longer need taxi drivers?
Yet the challenge for creators is more subtle: rather than being replaced by robots, we have to worry about competition on a global scale. (As online education becomes ubiquitous how can the art school graduate in Brooklyn ask for the same fee as the Photoshop master in India?)
So how can we best prepare ourselves for this new career dynamic, where we must stave off outsourcing at every turn?
1. Own your life choices, and don’t let comparison make you envious.
One side effect of the rise of automation is that everything we do can and will become measureable. We are already able to see the bloggers with the most views, the creative with the most Twitter followers. But soon, even service jobs will be subject to what Cowen calls “hyper meritocracy,” where everything is measured, tracked, and ranked. As a result, comparison to our peers, and the subsequent anxiety that comes with that, is inevitable. We’ll always know where we stack up, and employers will be able to compensate us accordingly.
The upshot of this is that survival in the new career landscape offers an interesting choice: Will you “live to work,” and do everything it takes to max out these measurements to impress your employers? Or do you prefer to “work to live,” to maximize your leisure and family time?
2. Become a first-rate leader and collaborator.
It’s impossible to outsource great leadership. As jobs and companies become more specialized and competition more fierce, top companies will increasingly fight for workers that show leadership chops.
Because of this hyper-specialization, creative teams will need workers who they enjoy collaborating with. As we all become more specialized, the problems we are solving will become increasingly complex. This means that collaboration across different areas of expertise will become even more important. One person alone cannot design the self-driving car.
3. Learn to market your work.
Even if you have the skills and connections, success still means getting your work noticed. No matter what field you are in, marketing your work will only get harder in the decades to come. Those who can authentically and effectively do battle with Buzzfeed listicles and Instagram photos will always be in demand.
“Marketing” in this context is different than taking a class at your local college. It’s about having a deep, entrenched understanding of your subject matter and target audience. The kind of high-level analytical thinking required to do this work can never be automated and will always be in demand.
The creatives that succeed will be the ones that embrace these changes and use them to generate more opportunity and more chances to truly impact our world.
courtesy of :