How to Robot-Proof Your Job
Work + Life Balance

How to Robot-Proof Your Job

by Vicki Salemi
Photos Nicole Baas | June 09, 2015

DON'T LET A COMPUTER OUTDO YOU! HERE'S ONE FUN WAY TO MAKE YOURSELF AN INDISPENSIBLE PART OF YOUR COMPANY. 

Ah, job security. Whether youve been in your job for two months or two years, you may start feeling comfortable. In fact, too comfortable at times.

Heres the thing: we shouldnt become too complacent in our roles regardless of how long weve been there. That said, we also shouldnt become paranoid about losing our jobs or needing to pound the pavement again. A healthy dose of awareness is just what this career expert prescribes. {Click to Tweet}

Check this out: according to an international poll conducted by Monster.com, 63 percent of workers believe their jobs will never be replaced by automation (think computers and robots) and an additional 10 percent think it will take over 10 years for automation to do their job. However, a 2013 Oxford study estimates that almost half of todays jobs in the U.S. could be automated within 20 years.

A 2013 Oxford study estimates that almost half of todays jobs in the U.S. could be automated within 20 years.

Automation may seem far away, but there are several things you can do right here, right now to make yourself a valuable asset at work. And one of those ways is to simply add more fun.

When I worked in recruiting, my department literally had a committee devoted to fun. Thats right—a committee devoted to creating more fun at work! In an effort to create a lighter workplace, a Fun Factor Chair was named (yes, that was me) to plan monthly outings to take advantage of a lavish and significantly reduced-priced lunch during Restaurant Week in January, for instance. Then I created a newsletter to highlight birthdays and years of service for the organization across the country. It was enjoyable to create and also built camaraderie across various offices.

Related: Making Moves at Work

Why am I telling you all of this? Well, if you want to robot-proof your job and make yourself indispensable, this is one impactful way to do it. {Click to TweetAnd while it may not necessarily directly relate to your job, it does tie to your presence in the office. It involves going the extra mile and sporting a smile even if you dont feel like it.

Go ahead and be that gal! Organize birthday celebrations in a conference room, bring in bagels every Friday, say hello to your bosss boss.

Organize birthday celebrations in a conference room, bring in bagels every Friday, say hello to your bosss boss.

In turn, becoming a leader in the office with clubhouse presence demonstrates respectable qualities. As you develop your visibility and become that go-to person (yes, even being knowledgeable about paper jams in the printer is a coup), you can also develop and ultimately polish your soft skills. 

Sure, robots and automation software may actually be helpful if it means they’re taking mundane projects off your plate, but lets face it: robots cant do one thing we do incredibly well as humans. They don’t have the incredible ability to build and honor strong relationships like we do.

Related: When Colleagues Become Friends

When was the last time you went out for coffee with your cubicle mate or had lunch with your boss? How would you rate your communication skills if you had to take a potential client out to dinner?  Have you given a presentation at work lately? If not, its time to jump right in. Doing these activities may push you outside your comfort zone, but the reality is, youre building a valuable intangible skill coveted by employers (and lost on robots).