Recently, we have puiblished a number of posts concerned with automation--not just the potential for it to disrupt employment in years to come, but also the need for employees in all walks of life to ensure that they have the training and experience to ensure that their jobs are secure from the threat of automated outsourcing. In this post, contributor Josh Snow outlines this latter premise perfectly, and illustrates that, when employees embrace the opportunities offered by automation, it can lead to productivity gains and career growth:
For many, automation poses a threat to job security, for fear of being replaced by a machine. Although the concerns are valid, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your job position will one day become obsolete.
Instead of worrying about the move towards automation, embrace it!
Many job duties are repetitive in nature, and where there is redundancy, there is an opportunity for automation. This can be good, in fact, great, if you can find ways to automate repetitive tasks in your current job, freeing up time to focus on other things that cannot be automated.
Redundant tasks are a part of many daily activities in the workplace and at home, many of which can be automated. The progression of automation has seen vast improvements since the industrial age. Utilizing the advances in technology has given way to mass production, allowing businesses to bring their products to consumers at significantly reduced costs.
With the advent of embedded systems and industrial automation, products can be created very efficiently. In the realm of evolutionary advancement, creating systems that perform repetitive tasks has allowed us to utilize our intelligence in more creative ways.
Embracing automation earned me a promotion. With a career in information technology, I spend a lot of time in front of a computer. Part of my job duties are to report client data to upper management on a regular basis. Although necessary, gathering and organizing the data can prove tedious and time consuming. The reports are the same in nature, it’s the data that changes. In an effort for efficiency, a template was created, requiring me to input the data into the correct fields of the template. Over time, the repetitive nature of the task grew tiresome. I was spending the majority of my day doing essentially the same thing. I really wanted to help some teammates work on an interesting project, but the reporting didn’t allow much time to be a part of the project. The opportunity for growth was dim and I was frustrated with what seemed to be a time consuming position that didn’t allow much time for other pursuits within the company.
I needed to find a way to free up some time in my day to get involved in the projects that I really wanted to be apart of, allowing opportunities for growth. With a little effort, I began learning how to automate the reports. Utilizing the capabilities of within Excel, I created a macro toolbox, requiring a mere click of the mouse to perform the once tedious reporting tasks.
Once I had the report automated I had a lot more time to join my teammates in other projects. I was now getting the reports turned in quickly, while also playing an integral role in several projects. This did not go unnoticed. What started as repetitive reporting with minimal growth opportunities, turned into a challenging and appreciated position within the company, all thanks to automation.
I will continue to look for opportunities for automation at work and at home. Automation has made my life easier, freed up time on repetitive tasks, saved my employer money, which in turn, meant a promotion for me. This has allowed me to be more productive, focusing my time on essential tasks that only a human can do. Instead of fearing the inevitably increasing forms of automation, use it to your advantage. Your employer will appreciate your forward thinking attitude, likely putting yourself in a position for new growth opportunities within the company.
Josh Snow is a Freelance Writer and SEO Specialist, with a B.S. in IT. You can visit his blog here.
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