The biggest fear of job seekers is that they won’t find a job.
The biggest fear of currently employed people is that their job will be automated away.
Funny thing is, the cure for both of these is the same:
Be more human.
Take the most common problem for job hunters, for example: “I don’t get noticed.”
If you don’t get noticed, that means you’re applying in a way that is indistinguishable from all the other applications. In other words, you’re just following the rules, doing what everyone else is doing, like a robot. And that’s what makes your application forgettable.
The fix here would be to do the opposite.
Rather than conform, lead with what makes you unique (e.g. by pitching yourself). Rather than talking to an automated computer system, reach out to a real human being with a personal email. And rather than “dear sir/madam” keep it real and use your own tone of voice.
It may sound simple, but it works every single time.
We see it every day.
So what about once you have the job? How do you keep it, and not get robotized/automated away?
Again: be more human.
Use machines, don’t become one.
People who are afraid to lose their job to a robot tend to cling to all the tasks on their plate like a drowning man to a lifeboat.
Ironically, it would be way more effective to do the exact opposite.
Do your best to automate away mundane tasks and let machines do the boring stuff, so that you create as much room as possible for your human creativity and ingenuity. For your empathy, compassion, and innovative thinking. For the parts of you that are too human to be replaced.
Turns out those are the most fun parts of your job anyway.
So it doesn’t matter what you’re looking for in your career right now. Whether you’re looking to get hired, or looking to stay hired, and build a future proof, robot-resistant career.
The answer is never to become colder, more obedient, more of a rule follower, and more like a robot.
Instead, do the opposite.
Be more human.
This post originally appeared in the DJH newsletter.
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