Automation is a buzzword in most industries these days. For prospective business and marketing students, the idea of automation replacing work opportunities can be particularly intimidating.
Fortunately, business students don’t need to spend their days worrying about the future. Instead, they can take active steps to prepare for it. Here are a few suggestions for the best ways that business and marketing majors can set themselves apart in the face of future automation.
Start with a deep breath
Seriously, take a deep breath and slow down for a second. The thought of automation taking over your future career is a scary one, and it can often create a lot of emotional inner turmoil.
While there are many different ways to avoid — and in most cases, embrace — automation, the first step is cultivating a calm, cool, and collected mindset. Once you’ve done that, you can begin to strategize and plan out the best path toward professional success.
Cultivate a Growth Mindset
Once you’ve slowed down and reoriented yourself, take some time to consider your perspective. Review how you’re approaching the entire automation question. Ask yourself the following question:
Do you consider your skill set to be a known entity that will eventually become antiquated?
If you answered yes, then you’re operating with a fixed mindset. This is the mental state where you assume that things like your intelligence, talents, and abilities are definable, fixed assets.
If this is the case, you want to shift to a growth mindset. This mentality embraces the idea that your abilities, talents, and intelligence are always in states of growth. You are always learning and can always improve.
A growth mindset is critical to 21st-century professional success. It acts as your guiding light as you strive to keep up with changes in the world around you. It can also help you stand out against any competition that may be operating in a fixed mindset.
As far as automation is directly concerned, a growth mindset can also help you do a few different things, such as:
- Fostering your creativity and innovation — both of which guide, rather than replace, automation.
- Learning new automation solutions as they are developed.
- Seeing things in a positive light and enhancing your ability to work with rather than against automation (more on that further down).
A growth mindset is the foundation that can make a successful long-term career possible.
One of the best ways to safeguard yourself against automation is to start early. If you catch onto the automation concerns before you’re in college, don’t wait until you’re graduating from a university to start thinking about the future.
You can begin to work on your approach to automation while you’re still in high school. Some of this may simply be paying closer attention in class and taking the time to ask your teachers questions about automation.
However, you may also find yourself facing some of the major challenges that many modern students struggle with. Things like the digital divide and a lack of resources or community can hold students back from preparing for the workforce rather than college, and in the end, the former often proves just as, if not more, important.
If you feel this is the case, don’t play the victim card. Instead, begin doing your own independent research. Look for positive influences, resources, and other extracurricular options in your life that can help you plan for the future.
Assess Potential Automation — and Embrace It
While mindsets and preparation are important, at a certain point, the rubber is going to hit the road. When it comes time to seriously choose your major and, shortly afterward launch your career, you want to get more specific with your automation preparation.
While you can’t predict the future, you can certainly do research to assess how much your field of interest may be impacted by automation. Once again, ask yourself some questions, like if a robot or a software application can perform any of the skills involved in the work itself.
If the answer is yes, that shouldn’t automatically disqualify the option. On the contrary, ask the follow-up question: what skills in that career will not be able to be easily automated? You may find that the potential automation is actually likely to make the job easier, not irrelevant.
For instance, if you’re thinking of becoming a marketer, you may notice that email marketing is quickly being automated. However, this one task is not all that a marketer does. On the contrary, if it’s automated, it will give you more time to steer into creative pursuits like designing marketing strategies and campaigns.
There are some fields where automation is threatening to truly take over. However, in many cases, new technology will merely enhance and streamline the functions of the traditional job. This is something to be embraced, rather than feared.
Setting Yourself Apart from (and Through) Automation
Automation is a threat to many modern workers. However, those who treat automation less as a boogeyman and more as the way of the future are willingly putting themselves in a position oriented toward success.
So stay calm. Maintain a growth mindset. Start preparing early. And asses the automation potential (rather than just the threat) in your future career. If you can do that, you’ll enable yourself to not only survive but thrive in your future occupation.