"A Steady Paycheck... Certainty... Security."
These are the reasons people tell me they are afraid to leave a soul-sucking job and pursue a career more aligned with their purpose.
However, it's time for us to have an uncomfortable conversation about what's really happening in the global job market. Don't take my word for it. Here's what Stephen Hawking said last December in a column for The Guardian:
"The automation of factories has already decimated jobs in traditional manufacturing, and the rise of artificial intelligence is likely to extend this job destruction deep into the middle classes, with only the most caring, creative or supervisory roles remaining."
In other words, the office job which has provided you so much certainty up until now is only slightly better than a 50/50 bet to survive over the next decade.
A report by The University of Oxford suggests that 47% of jobs in the United States are at risk of automation. Sam Hinkie, one of the smartest men in sports and a Stanford grad, was recently quoted as asking "How are you preparing your kids for a life with 60% unemployment?"
As Mr. Hawking pointed out, the global automation trend is no longer exclusive to the manufacturing sector. According to the Oxford study, some of the most vulnerable workers are:
Loan Officers, Receptionists, Information Clerks, Paralegals/Legal assistants, retail employees, truck drivers/cab drivers, and medical records technicians. Those jobs are expected to be over 90% automated in the future. Even careers like financial advisers and computer programmers are hovering around the 50% automation expectancy rate.
Here's the harsh reality. If a computer can do your job cheaper and more efficiently than you, your "safe" career is no longer a sure thing.
Conversely, the careers which experts anticipate will weather the technology storm include those with high degrees of dexterity as well as social and creative skills. Art directors/curators, nurses, surgeons, makeup artists, mental health professionals, and coaches are all under 3% risk to become obsolete.
I don't share these stats to scare you.
In fact, it's quite the opposite. I want you to be ahead of the curve. I want to inspire you to re-examine the outdated beliefs your parents and teachers instilled in you about what it means to be "successful."
The old way of thinking said to study hard, get a degree, work for the same company for 40 years, and save enough money to eventually create freedom in your golden years. The old model of the world was about chaining yourself to a desk and earning a paycheck.
I believe now is the time for us to upgrade our beliefs to reflect the changing global landscape. As large corporations cut costs and replace humans with machines, the path to prosperity lies in tapping into our creativity and emotional intelligence to serve the world in ways artificial intelligence can't. The new model for success is about being paid abundantly for using our inherent gifts to provide massive value to the world.
I'm not just talking about financial prosperity. This is also a conversation about emotional prosperity.
What if you could feel freedom TODAY instead of waiting for retirement?
What if you felt like you were in charge of your life and not looking over your shoulder, waiting for the next round of budget cuts?
What if you didn't feel like you were suffocating in a job where you feel overworked and overwhelmed?
What would it feel like to wake up EXCITED about the day ahead instead of feeling stressed out the second the alarm went off?
What if you knew your day's work made a real impact in the lives of others?
What's remarkable is how many times I've talked to people over the last year who have intuitively felt pulled to forge a new career path. Yet, they also get stuck in the head vs. heart battle of staying in their comfort zone instead of allowing themselves to step into uncertainty and grow.
If you are one of those people, ask yourself one question:
Do you want to get in front of the automation change? Or do you want to risk being left behind?
Some people will choose to wait until the circumstances of their life FORCE them to change. I've travelled that road more than once and can tell you it's a stressful, painful path.
It doesn't have to be your path though.
I'm not telling you to give up your current income and quit your job. I'm simply urging you to ask the questions which will lay the groundwork for you to quit your job and design the life you really want.
Here are 4 questions to get you started:
- What's My Vision? You won't recognize opportunity if you can't define what it looks like for you. What does your dream career look like? What is the thing you've always thought about doing, regardless of whether you believe it's "realistic." One of the biggest delay tactics from people who stay stuck is to answer "I don't know." In that case, ask what are the things you're good at? How would you want to FEEL in your new career? With that clarity, you can reverse-engineer the process to identify options which will help you feel that way more often.
- What must I accomplish to make this happen? Vision without action is simply a daydream. What are 5 action steps you must take in the next 90 days to bring your vision to life? Is there an online training you could begin to take in your free time? Could you research your new business idea to find out how big the market is for your services? The action steps don't need to be perfect, but we know from the laws of physics that an object in motion stays in motion. Take the first wobbly steps towards your purpose and trust you will find clarity as you go.
- What do you need to start doing? What are the daily habits which will better support my "to-do" list? If you want to be a writer, how many words per day can you commit to writing? Do you need to start networking with like-minded people who will support you dreams? Do you need to find a mentor or coach who has accomplished what you want? Do you need to better manage your schedule?
- What do I need to STOP doing in order to make progress? Are you wasting hours on social media that could be better used planning your transition? Do you need to start saying no to people in order make time for you? Is there an addiction which is holding you back from achieving your highest potential? Do you just need to stop procrastinating and take the leap? When we let go of old habits and thought patterns, we create space for something new to be born.
These questions might be triggering for you. That's a normal response. Change will always feel scary.
Yet, change is also inevitable.
Some people will stay stuck in their current circumstances because they allow a fear of failure to keep them paralyzed where they are at. Some people will get angry about "that damn technology" and live in the past, during the "good ole' days." They will also find themselves stuck.
What I love about these 4 questions is they allow you to build a vision for your future while keeping your grounded in the present moment. After all, the only place where you have the power and resources to create the life you desire in the future is by living in the now.
Now over to you!
Has your need for certainty kept you from passionately pursuing your purpose? Are you currently in an unfulfilling career or a job that could become extinct? What gifts do you have which can't be replicated by a computer?
Comment below and let me know what new committed decision you will make.
Need additional support to overcome your fear and take bold action towards creating the career you REALLY want? Click here to schedule a complimentary, 30-minute breakthrough coaching session with me today!