In the age of smartphones, touch-screens and wireless everything, it’s hard to believe that a job like switchboard operator actually ever existed. It was a position that involved manually switching calls using a pair of plugs to connect two callers. Now, people connect directly and it’s not only by phone—more likely by text, FaceTime, Skype or some other medium.
What’s more, a shift in technology almost always leads to a change in the workforce as societal demands dictate jobs in demand. So just how do you protect yourself, your income and future from being "switchboarded" into oblivion?
Renowned financial expert Ric Edelman, author of The New York Times best-selling book The Truth About Your Future shared this advice on Great Day Washington about keeping your career relevant in the digital age:
- Shift your idea of having a career on a linear lifeline (school-job-retirement-death) to a cyclical lifeline (school – job – school – new job – more education – maybe a gig – mini retirement/sabbatical – new job – much later retirement - death).
- Be open to education and re-educating yourself every two years. Wondering why? See first bullet.
- Throw out the old model of retirement at age 65, unless you’re super rich. Because new advancements in medicine are on the horizon, it may become a common occurrence for people to live to be 120 years old. So how are you going to live off of your planned retirement savings for 55 years? Most people won’t.
Expect to work well beyond age 65 and—even if you’re in your 50s or 60s— develop a strategy right now to manage this transition without damaging your savings and investments or getting yourself into a load of debt.
- Learn investment strategies relevant to the changing times, such as investing in companies that are leaders in emerging technologies.
- Figure out a way to generate life-long income from your investments. Start to diversify your income right now. Get on the gig economy bandwagon and create multiple streams of income to support and protect your future. Have a second home? Rent it out on the internet as a vacation property when you're now there. Love to bake? Set up an online store. The possibilities are endless if you think creatively.
Ultimately, says Edelman, if you jump on the technology wave, and ride it confidently into your retirement, the future could be the happiest time of your life. Read more in his book, The Truth About Your Future: The Money Guide You Need Now, Later, and Much Later.
Markette Sheppard is host of Great Day Washington. You can hear more advice from Ric Edelman in her Facebook Live interview with him after the show. Watch it now here.