Why Upskilling Is No Longer Enough, blog article written by Ted Prodromou

I'm reading an interesting article in Harvard Business Review. 

Many repetitive jobs will be replaced by AI in the coming years (this has been happening in manufacturing for decades.) 

The average half-life of skills is now less than five years and as low as two and a half years in some industries. 

What do we do with good employees who thrive at repetitive jobs? 

The article talked about upskilling employees. 

Enhance their skills so they remain motivated and productive. 

The problem is upskilling isn't enough. 

At some point, those skills are not necessary so you have to reskill employees. 

Reskilling is learning a completely new skill that didn't exist a few years ago. 

Many employees are good at what they do, but they may not be good at the new skill they need to learn. 

What do you do with those employees? 

When I started in the computer industry, a new product line would be released about every three to five years. 

There was little need for upskilling or reskilling because not much changed. 

We used to troubleshoot to the component level using volt meters, oscilloscopes, and soldering irons. 

As computers evolved, there wasn't a need for skilled computer techs because troubleshooting consisted of swapping the entire computer motherboard or power supply. 

Our jobs were eliminated, and we were replaced by "techs" who were trained to replace the motherboard or power supply and paid a fraction of what we earned. 

Glorified deliverymen getting paid about $8/hour. 

The next big thing for me was computer networks. 

I worked for DEC at the time and they were instrumental in the development of computer networks. 

The demand for network managers skyrocketed, so again I was in the driver's seat. 

As computer networks evolved, there was no need for network experts. 

Today, you sign up for internet access and they mail you a self-configuring router that used to take hours to set up. 

In today's world, you need to proactively address upskilling and reskilling to remain competitive. 

If you are offering products and services developed a few years ago, you need to make sure you are solving a problem that still exists. 

What are you doing to proactively enhance your skills and services to remain competitive? 


About the author 

Ted Prodromou

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I'm the #1 best-selling author of Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn for Business and Ultimate Guide to Twitter for Business. People call me America's Leading LinkedIn Coach.

I'm the founder of Search Marketing Simplified, LLC, a full service online marketing agency. The SMS team designs and implements advanced LinkedIn and social media lead-generation strategies for small to medium-sized businesses. SMS will set up and manage your marketing funnels using organic, social and paid traffic.

Did you know I've been working with the internet since 1991, long before Al Gore invented it?

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