How Can We Remain Relevant When New Technology Threatens Our Jobs and Lives?

By now, you’ve probably heard about various AI apps and how they’re coming for your jobs. Some of my colleagues love these apps and work with them. Other colleagues won’t touch them.

I’m experimenting with ChatGPT for marketing copy. So far, it’s pretty good. But for my regular nonfiction or fiction writing or images? I’m not worried about my writing future. I’m happy to say that no AI writes as I do. (I have a distinctive author voice, as you do, too.)

However, I will only embrace AI-assisted writing or image creation when the royalties and copyright issues get resolved. I don’t fear the use of these tools. Instead, I fear getting pulled into a lawsuit. Life is too short for that.

But what about how we remain relevant in the face of all this change? That starts with how we might feel about technology.

Technology Creates Change and Maybe Ease

My entire career has revolved around change. When I was a software developer, I created technology that allowed other people more ease in their work. Later, as a manager, I was part of the discussions that helped my employers how to make work better for our customers. And as a consultant, I support my clients’ ability to change.

Technology often makes it easier for people—or their customers—to do their jobs.

Before we could book flights online, we needed to talk to a travel agent or the airline itself. Yes, a real-time communication.

I still have 2×2 slides from one of my early talks, which you slid into a projector carousel. To create those slides, I had to work with a graphic designer who used fonts and colors in ways I didn’t need to know. Now, we all have slide-creating software.

Now, technology allows me to manage my one-person business by myself on my laptop.

AI feels like a different kind of change to me. While AI offers ease, it also can threaten our livelihoods—and our ability to remain relevant.

Previous technology threatened small segments of the job market. Now, AI threatens most jobs.

However, we can find and keep great jobs, if we understand what makes us unique and relevant.

What Makes You Unique or Relevant?

If you are a creator, your ability to capture and express ideas makes you unique. That’s why I recommend writers find and double down on their author voice.

At work, how can you push boundaries, so your products or services offer something new and different to your customers?

Our uniqueness can create our relevance. If you’re unsure what makes you unique, review your most recent three projects. Where did you add value based on something different from the accepted norms?

That difference from the norm plus our humanity is our uniqueness. We can use what’s unique to remain relevant. That’s the adaptability and resilience we all need.

We can’t keep AI at bay. That genie is out of the bottle. Only you can choose how to respond.


My new (!) editor has the manuscript for Become a Successful Independent Consultant. Don’t buy the book yet, unless you want to see how much I changed between the original version and this version.

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Till next time,


© 2023 Johanna Rothman

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