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Career Focus

Does AI Want Your Job?

By LISA TRUDEL - September 7 2023
Does AI Want Your Job?

By Lisa Trudel

Have you noticed there are more blogs and podcasts than ever before discussing how AI (artificial intelligence) will soon affect almost every profession?  This is because it is true. However, will AI really fully replace people? Maybe not yet.  

There is undeniable evidence that robots are appearing in our everyday lives.  My sister was recently greeted in a restaurant by a waist-high machine that then served her dinner. Last month at my doctor’s office the medical receptionist was a self-serve patient check-in kiosk similar to the ones at the airport. 

According to career trend experts, there are several jobs that will be impacted by AI in the next 10 years including writers, finance professionals, and customer service: 

Writers: ChatGPT and other AI chatbots have arrived, which means robots now have the language to generate ideas, create stories, and write texts in seconds.  Hopefully, a person will still be needed to review what AI generates and will edit and revise what is written into a compelling story.

Finance Professionals: Many routine financial tasks including managing bookkeeping duties, preparing tax returns, and analyzing market trends can be handled by a robot. However, it is possible that Accountants will still be needed to organize and strategize.

Customer Service: Self-check-out kiosks, online banking, online shopping, and automated Chat Agents have already replaced thousands of frontline jobs even though statistics state that most customers still prefer to interact with a person. 

You might be asking: “How do I fit into this new world of work?”  There are two answers to this question. The first answer is to adapt and embrace AI.  Everyone will be affected by AI so you need to ensure your source of income is not replaced by a bot.  Instead, figure out which technology tools are relevant to your occupation and then learn how to use them. Always keep moving forward by learning new skills.

The second answer is to turn in the opposite direction and to talk with people. Human interaction is still incredibly valuable. The following is a list of 4 people you can turn to:

1) Mentor: This is a person who advises and talks with you, and who works in the same occupation you are aiming for.  A mentor can facilitate a discussion of options so you can make well-informed career and educational decisions, and can help to build your self-esteem. For example, if you are rejected after a job interview, your mentor can help you gain back motivation and revive your self-worth. Rejection can be hurtful and mentors can ease emotional pain by affirming your values and best qualities. 

2) Sponsor: This is a person who advocates for you at the company where you work.  A sponsor is very different from a mentor. The sponsor invests in you, while the mentor gives to you.  A sponsor is usually someone influential at a senior level within your company where you might have an entry-level job or mid-level position.  Your sponsor, who should be a powerfully positioned company champion, makes themselves look good by persuading the decision-making team that you are a valuable asset and should be considered for promotions.  Your sponsor is part of your at-work alliance team and can open doors for you by connecting you with the key players who decide who should advance in your company and who should not.

3) Role-Model: This is a person who has traits you admire and inspires you to be your best self.  There are some role models you may never meet and some you talk to on a daily basis. Role models can be someone who has achieved great things or someone who lives a life you aspire to. Real-life role model examples include Oprah Winfrey, Malala Yousafzai, and Viola Desmond (who is celebrated on the Canadian $10.00 bill). Common role models in daily life might include parents, aunts, teachers, and a great boss.  

4) Coach: This is a professional you pay to assist you with your career. They listen, they talk to you and they navigate ideas for your career including providing occupational choices, educational decisions, writing resumes and cover letters, and can assist you with your LinkedIn Profile. Career Coaches offer instruction and can help you focus on goals so that eventually you attain your objective.  Most coaches will provide you with a structured plan and encourage you by monitoring your progress on a regular basis for a specific length of time.  You can research local Coaches and their pros and cons by visiting:   https://www.findmyprofession.com/career-advice/coaching-services-toronto/

There is also a 5th person you can turn to and this is a Career Specialist you can access at no cost if you use the services of Employment Ontario. Employment Ontario helps job seekers who are unemployed, not in school, and who fit the eligibility requirements outlined by the Provincial Government. If you want to find employment or need career planning assistance, check: https://www.ontario.ca/page/employment-ontario and discover if you meet the criteria to use these free services. 

This article was written by Lisa Trudel, Career Specialist with Achēv at 100 Lombard Street in downtown Toronto. Achēv is funded by Employment Ontario.  You can contact Lisa at ltrudel@achev.ca



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