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Career navigation

career risk managementThe working population is likely to be drawn towards managing the change in the selected career path, in the very near future. An earlier article – Career sustenance versus disruption methodology was my first attempt in this direction which prompted a reader friend to ask me to write further on the changing scenario. A series of books by Alvin Toffler, namely the “Third Wave”, “Future Shock” and “Power Shift” are amazing pieces of work that brought out the future trends in careers forced by technological innovations.

career risk management-1Information technology era: The first wave or the agricultural economy was followed by the second wave or the industrial revolution. The “Third Wave” points to the post-industrial era that came subsequently and is in existence to this day. The “Future Shock” and “Power Shift” are about the changes that are brought about by the Information technology age. The “Future shock” refers to what happens to the people when they are no longer able to cope with the pace of change. All sorts of symptoms and maladies come to the fore in the form of depression, disease, and emotional breakdown.

career risk management-2The new concept of prosumers: When you talk about “Power Shift”, it discusses eclipsing of monetary wealth by knowledge and information as the primary determinant of power and its distribution. The manufacturing process and manufacturing goods will give way to knowledge-production and information-processing as the primary economic activity. The gap between the producer and the consumer is bridged by technology giving rise to the “prosumers.” Prosuming allows the corporation to outsource its labour for a third job to the unpaid consumer. The examples of this are available today in the form of an ATM where we do our own banking instead of a teller employed by the bank, or when we trace our own postal package on the internet instead of relying on a paid clerk.

career risk management-3The challenge to careers: With the growth of the technology in leaps and bounds and making deep inroads into our careers, how do we go about it in the Indian context? Imagine a situation where the consumer actually views the assembly of his car on the OEM line using his laptop. He has the full option to select the colour, model, engine type and features and makes the payment accordingly. This prosuming may do away with the marketing departments and dealerships altogether.

career risk management-10Technology disruptions: Today, the major manufacturers of machines track the running of the machines on the customer lines through internet based networks. They are able to check the performance and also diagnose the breakdowns. In no time, they are able to suggest the part replacements and other solutions in case of a malfunction. Does that mean that the maintenance is getting outsourced to the machine manufacturers?

career risk management-5Take charge of your career: The best way to take care of your career with such disruptions in technology taking place is to keep abreast with it and embrace it with open arms. The ensuing technology does not actually take away your job but transforms it by offering you a better option to work with it. The technology, in fact, opens up a wide range of options for you to work on. If you are ready for the change it will lead you to a more satisfying career than the monotonous job that you are carrying out at present.

Costs and benefits dilemma at a cross road or forked highway representing the difficult choice between choosing negative or positive outlook.

Public sector versus private sector: The pace of change would be more prominent in the private sector as compared to the public sector. The example is evident from the fact that you still have a person doing your passbook updates in a public sector bank when the private sector does it through the ATM and net banking. The public sector sees the technology as a challenge to their easy going career and is more unionized in their approach to any transformation. However, in the private sector, the people are more open and know that their jobs can be challenged any moment. They are much more flexible in their approach and hence will adapt to the technological advances in a better fashion.

career risk management-7Dismantling careers in corruption: The government has got a feel of the technological disruption as an important tool to root out corruption. That is why it is radically adopting the computerization and digitization in its offices at a fast pace. With things going online, the provident fund offices, passport services, railway bookings and land records etc. are getting out of reach of the corrupt officials. This has augured well for the public in general. The careers of the middlemen that got generated from corruption are definitely ruined.

career risk management-8Steer your career in the right direction: The process of understanding the way to navigate your career is not difficult at all. By going through the article, it would be easy for you to adopt the disruptive technology and give a boost to your career. The career perceptions are changing fast and the public sector would also do well to change their thinking and go with the tide. The tide of information technology is very powerful. It is better to learn to go with the tide; otherwise, you would be swept by it. The choice is yours!career risk management-9

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The author is a veteran of the Indian automobile industry having spent more than 30 years there. The articles are based on the experience and learnings gathered during the course of his career. The writing is also interspersed with the advances and change ideas influencing the careers of the people.


  1. I am really love this article……very help full….

  2. There is a very effective article.I appreciate this.

  3. Though the most of the articles on the website are written in the Indian context but there are certain good global references like “Third Wave” and “Future Shock” in this one. Also the personality type evaluation processes are quite international. The author seems to have done some good groundwork. Good and interesting reading material which the people looking for career moves and direction may find very useful.

  4. The dismantling of careers in corruption is interesting to read. If it is a fact then India is taking off at a fast pace.

  5. The pace of reforms in public sector has to improve so that the careers become lucrative there also.

  6. Technology disruptions are leading to career transformations in a big way. People need to keep their ears and eyes open for these major changes. A proactive approach is required to timely navigate your career in the right direction.

  7. I like the part where careers in corruption are getting devastated by the disruptive technologies.

  8. Career navigation is dynamic in nature. The changes in the circumstances is very fast and one has to keep pace with it.

  9. The reduction in the gap between the producer and consumer is the most important aspect that has affected the careers in a big way. But, it has also given a big push to new age start-up entrepreneurs who are using the online marketing for direct consumer contact in a big way.

  10. Technological changes have been happening in the past also. The only difference is that the pace has increased tremendously now. It is in a state where it is slowly getting out of hand. Yes, we have to get ready for a future shock.

  11. The concept of prosumer seems to be quite unique. The word is rightly bridging the gap between the producer and consumer. Good article.

  12. Our dependence on the agriculture economy is still very much there. Any year of a bad monsoon derails the economy. Though we may be talking of technological disruptions in various areas, we need it the most in the agriculture sector.

  13. I feel that India is a growth story and since we are a developing economy, we can use the technology to create jobs. For example we have a big problem of skilled labor in the country. We can make use of technology to skill up our people in a big way and make them eligible for jobs or setting up their own business. Since we have a huge population the demand for skilled people is always there.

  14. Disruptive technologies in a country like India render a number of people jobless. Though we have to adopt the technology but a serious thought needs to be given to creating jobs for the affected people. The article does talk about a proactive approach by the employees who face the brunt of technology but it easier said than done.

  15. The prosumer concept is truly interesting. It really is responsible for a loss of jobs in many areas. One has to be very vigilant for the developments taking place around him

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