Last week on National Public Radio, there was a segment on technology, and how it is impacting people in the workplace. Two individuals, we’ll call them Sheila and Doreen, from the retail grocery industry were interviewed.
Sheila was lamenting the fact that the check-out robot was taking away from her work hours. “We used to work 40 hours a week, now it’s maybe 20 or 30 hours.” Then Doreen chimed in, “It makes me want to get out of this industry because you don’t know what the future holds.
It makes us pause and wonder what industry Doreen is interested in where the future is known. Perhaps it’s only in obsolete industries where nostalgics and hobbyists collect relics from the past, like buggy whips or VCR tapes. They won’t find certainty in retail, manufacturing, nonprofits, web development, or anywhere else. Innovation and change are a constant everywhere we go.
Perhaps Sheila and Doreen should be excused; this wasn’t a topic taught in school. At the same time, it’s really our individual responsibility to look out for our own future. Hopefully we can make it an enjoyable endeavor: to continue to try new things, make mistakes, and adapt; and embrace the robots along the way…