Institute of Management, Nirma University - Logo
Institute of Management, Nirma University - Logo

Planning for the future – But is the planning relevant in the current scenario?

There is a saying that Perfect Planning Prevents Poor Performance. This sentence has shaped my life a lot. People call me the planning person. And I feel good about it. However, going forward, will the planning, especially for the career, will be relevant? Why this question for the area which has proved itself right for quite so long?

The main reason is the development in technological domains. Recollect how the Calculator impacted the lives of a few professionals (such as accountants, engineers, etc.). Also, computers and later mobile phones have changed the way we work and we live. So, every time breakthrough technologies bring a lot of benefits to humanity on one side and other side it makes many things irrelevant. For example, the Log Tables, or even Math Tables, are no longer in use or even in vocabulary. Similar things are expected when Artificial Intelligence (AI), Computer-Brain Interface, AR/VR, and similar other technologies become part of our lives. People started talking about the impact of AI on a few professions. But that is only the tip of the iceberg. The tsunami of changes is yet to come. Add on to that the effect of projects like Neurolink (by Elon Musk).

Imagine, a computer chip in your scalp and connected to your brain. Helping you in a much more advanced way as compared to the help done by computers and mobile phones. I did not have to mention that that chip would also be AI-enabled. In that scenario, imagine the role of teachers, counselors, and police, in the life of people. For example, think about what value addition now teachers will do. Because all the information and intelligence is now already in your brain-chip. Therefore, teachers have to find a place for them or become obsolete. Similarly, many aspects of normal life will change forever and in a very drastic way. For the dramatized version of this scenario, I request readers to see a movie – Upgrad.
Take a second scenario, when AR/VR (i.e. Augmented Reality / Virtual Reality) is woven into our daily life. Currently, we go to the cinema hall for the movie, we go to the zoo or museum, and we enjoy the thrill at theme parks. Normally these types of visits are for having some good experience or thrill. For that we travel from our home to that place, we need a car, and parking at the destination. In the AR/VR world, all these will lose their importance. People can be in the comfort of their homes and enjoy all of these with a much more refined experience. So, the professions related to cinema, zoos, museums, theme parks, etc. are bound to go or change radically.

The point I am trying to make is that a big jolt is on the way regarding the changes in many professions. So, if you are in your colleges for UG or PG programs, what career planning you will do? If you choose to be a finance manager (MBA-Finance) or Electrical Engineer, what is the guarantee that a job related to these careers will remain as it is? Chances are high that these profiles will also change. Same thing for most of the other careers. That is why I doubt the place for Career Planning in our life.

On this when Professor Yuval Nova Harari, was asked for his advice, he said that the future is going to be very unpredictable. And the biggest challenge will be to remain relevant. Exactly which skills will be important is very difficult to state. However, being skilful in Learning à Unlearning à Relearning is surely going to help adapt to the changing scenario.So rather than planning for a career, let us plan to learn how to Unlearn and Relearn.

Author Prof Dinesh Panchal