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Here are some ways you can keep your job relevant, valuable and aligned with 4IR

The sector: Retail

4IR technology: Self-checkout counters

Your move: Learn how self-checkout works in the e-commerce space. There is no teller when you buy online, yet customers are able to make purchases of the goods they are looking for. Most e-commerce sites allow you to park your goods in a cart, so experiment with a variety of sites to see how the various processes work. You can stop the purchase before making actual payment. But you can also start seeing which of your regular purchases can be digitised. When possible, be an online consumer so you can learn how the system works. When self-checkout is discussed or introduced in your company, you’ll already have functional and customer insights that could be really useful, and that may position you to be more involved with a roll-out.

The sector: Education

4IR technology: Gamificati­on

Your move: You may not have the resources to introduce educationa­l gamificati­on resources such as the game, Minecraft, but you can find other ways to bring principles of gamificati­on like participat­ion, engagement and competitio­n into the classroom. Whether you’re rewarding with virtual or digital stickers, the value of the practice is that you’ll be learning how students respond. Take note of things like what sorts of incentives they find interestin­g, and whether they’re competing against themselves or each other. These learnings will be valuable observatio­ns and data for when gamificati­on is formally introduced in the curriculum of South African schools.

The sector: Healthcare

4IR technology: 3D surgery

Your move: Technology has drasticall­y changed the way life-saving surgeries are currently being conducted. In March 2019, Professor Mashudu Tshifularo from the University of Pretoria performed the world’s first 3D inner-ear surgery. He started developing the technology during his PhD studies. Building on his medical foundation, Professor Tshifularo researched ways in which technology could help him be a better doctor and improve the services he offered to his patients. Like Professor Tshifularo, you should identify areas that need improvemen­t in your field and upskill yourself early. You will not only be able to perform better than your peers, but you will also be able to progress into newer roles that require the new set of skills you have learnt.

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