Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Am i replaceable?

This has long been the Damocles sword of a question that hangs over many an
employees head. Till recent past it had always been a question of a lower cost (location based) employee who was being considered a threat. Be it the Americas or India the threat perception and the threat factor, more or less, were similar. While the Americans fear being 'Bangalore d', it was always the question of a talented young fresher trying to catch up with a mid level resource in the service sector dominated Indian scenario.
It had always been a running race on treadmills, wherein people, when threatened off their positions, moved from one company to another to perform more or less similar kind of jobs in nature.
With latest level of consolidation happening on the data front and with the current craze over internet of things aiding such though process, the proverbial fear of replacement by fellow human is fast being replaced by that of an artificially intelligent being. In case of the latter, its not just the resource who is getting replaced it clears away the very position for the job for anyone else, until a better version of the tool is found.
When i view this situation, it has always been a dogging one even since one's school days. Until the time approached for an exam if a kid rarely went near his books or managed his studies, obviously he would feel the pressure. The more settled we feel in our jobs, we let our axe to rust. Success, being the worst teacher, lulls us into believing that the colour of the world is rose. If we are good at something, we should never do it for free, chuckled a great man once. If we are good at something, its high time we start to re-skill ourselves, should be the new mantra in corporate world, i guess.
The lifespan of any technology is so short-lived that there are very few products that can claim to survive the continuous onslaught of its competitors beyond a decade. One should have a stock market approach towards their career is what i believe will be helpful. We never put all our funds in one basket and always go for a wider variety of portfolio. Similarly, as much we master a given skill, we should also grow along the peripherals looking out for ways to enhance our skills, with the seed being our area of strength and exposure. Agreed that in a service sector driven region like India, where the client needs almost shape a career of an individual, there is very little leeway to invest in oneself on the area of their choice to grow.There should be a definite thought process to learn something interesting, if not new, which shouldn't necessarily be driven by the desire for a continuance in pay check alone.
Going back to the original question - am i replaceable? More than that i would like to know am i reusable.
I hope the answer is yes.


Ramesh said...

Very good post touching on a very live issue of today.

Yes, we are all replaceable, by man or machine. The level of reskilling required has increased manifold. The traditional concept of education until 25 and then work thereafter will not stand long in my view. We will flit in and out of work and study. Every 10 years or so, we will almost have to do an entire graduate degree.

This is a major challenge as work pressure has made 24 hour days very common. So taking time out to reskill will be very difficult.

I am thankful that I am out of this race. Wish you young guys much success in the constantly changing workplace.

gils said...

thanks thala. welcome back :)