Employees must become entrepreneurial to remain employed and employable in 2022 and beyond! Behaving as an entrepreneurial employee or an intrapreneur will provide you with the closest thing to job security. Embracing intrapreneurship begins with a mental shift: that you as an employee are a unique, significant agent who can actively help the company thrive now and into the future by contributing to current goals and by exploring and championing new ideas and opportunities for innovation.
You Don’t Have to Be a Techie
Just to be clear, intrapreneurship is not necessarily about being technologically adept, although having that attribute will provide you with certain opportunities. Intrapreneurship is, however, the trait of curiosity, of learning and adaptability, of being able to identify gaps and potential. It is a combination of traits related to imagination, empathy, drive, and creative problem-solving.
Threats to Job Security
Some of the threats to job security may include: a company’s right-sizing or winding down due to economic downturns, the elimination of a job function or role due to a company restructuring, for instance, during a merger or acquisition, new talent or skill requirement for available roles, or a displacement of labour by technology, for instance, artificial intelligence (AI).
While you may have no control over some of these scenarios such as a firm’s liquidation, acting as an intrapreneur offers you a level of guarantee against other threats. Your curiosity and self-driven leadership will help you identify your own path to professional development and upskilling, your interest in creative problem-solving will help you understand the organization’s direction and self-identify as one of those who can champion change and innovation within it. You come to develop a trained instinct for deciphering market and industry trends and are able to contribute positively to the company’s navigation of these changes.
AI and The Future of Jobs
One question continues to show up: Will AI take away everyone’s jobs?
It may be some years into the future before the true state of things unfolds. But what we know for certain is that the first jobs to go will be routine, paper-pushing jobs which require little to no creativity on the part of the employee, for example, clerks, phone operators, and so on. AI has been deployed to replace lawyers reviewing commercial loan agreements, journalists at media services, and disc jockeys at radio stations.
The COVID-19 pandemic has served us a prelude to that future where people were unavailable to do their jobs for obvious reasons. Toll collectors, janitors, cashiers, customer service representatives, drivers, waiters, receptionists, salespersons, and security guards were replaced by robots. In one dire scenario painted by Elon Musk, he predicts that all jobs will disappear until the only ones left will be writing AI software… until AI is then able to write its own software and then all human jobs become non-existent.
As we march towards existence-bending technological innovations such as the metaverse, forward-looking organizations will increasingly position themselves for that future when they assess potential and current employees. We foresee that the people with the most significant contributions to the organization’s future, and not just its current bottom line will increasingly be prized above everyone else. They will be the ones not just with technical skills, but those exhibiting many of those skills we have enumerated above.
Of course, the situation will be different across various organizations and industries, but our hunch is that more organizations will bank on innovation from within their ranks. The intrapreneurs who help fulfill this ambition will enjoy the closest thing to job security.
Becoming an Entrepreneurial Employee
While some employees are more entrepreneurial by nature, the good news is that you can learn to become a more entrepreneurial employee. You may start here by reading this widely acclaimed book: The Intrapreneur: Ignite Your Work Life.
We are also putting together a number of resources and training opportunities you will find empowering. Do stay tuned.