10 years ago you couldn’t use Google to find a coffee shop near you.

Now you can say “Siri, is there a good coffee shop near me?” and you’ll get an intelligent list of cafes, curated according to precise user feedback and your tastes – complete with directions, busiest times and hours of operation.

Now, take the algorithmic ability to curate user information a step further.

You’re thinking about purchasing something on Amazon. An item you’ve never purchased before.

Before you’ve typed your complete thought into the search bar, it pops up.

It’s called telepathic marketing, coming soon to a career near you.

Today’s pace of change is unprecedented – and staggering. There is only one overarching strategy: constant, high-speed innovation.

Is Your Personal Brand Ready For The Shift?

To be clear, we’re not talking about a robot doing your job in five years…exactly.

Although a recent Huffington Post article claimed that a Chinese tech company used an algorithm to produce a solid piece of journalism in 60 seconds.

(Note that they didn’t actually share the article and, as a writer myself, I’m trying to resist the urge to rage against the machine.)

Which brings me to my next point.

A 2015 study from the PEW Foundation said that, while a growing percentage of Americans believe robots will be part of our workforce in the next 50 years, an even higher percentage said they felt that no robot could do their job.

Ah, The Power Of Denial.

So, if the prospect of a robot or an algorithm coming for your job isn’t wake-up call enough, perk up your ears:

Artificial intelligence is already being used to analyze the human dynamics of candidate interviews.

AI is already able to scour the web for…

  • social media profiles,
  • blogs,
  • conversations,
  • comments,
  • job boards,
  • photographs, and
  • company pages

…to cull a meaningful, viable shortlist of potential candidates for any open job.

Fast forward 5-7 years and the talent landscape looks something like this…

The Recruiter As We Know Is Obsolete.

Absolutely everyone is on LinkedIn, has a website with a blog, posts on Quora and/or ponders ideas on Medium – leaving a trail of searchable bread crumbs revealing who they are, how they think and what they’re capable of.

Hiring managers conduct their own seamless talent searches, CIA style:

“Siri, I need a new marketing manager.”

And the ideal candidate is served up in seconds. This candidate, of course, has kept up with the times – and invested a considerable amount of time into building her online personal brand.

Too far-fetched?

You and I can debate about the “when” of this technology over a beer, but we can probably agree that it’s not a question of “if”.

Look at it this way – fifteen years ago driverless electric cars were purely sci-fi material.

Today, Teslas drive themselves on autopilot and it’s hardly enough to raise anyone’s eyebrow. And Elon Musk is on record saying that in 2 years time you’ll be able to summon your car (once you finish your dinner, for example) by pushing a button on your key fob.

What I find particularly interesting is that job search technology is moving along quicker than automotive technology.

2017 Is Nearly Over.

How is your online personal brand looking?

Or maybe the real question is – can you really afford to put off investing in your own professional marketability?

At this rate of change, none of us have the luxury of time anymore.

Don’t let the future pass you by (it will be an exciting one).

Read more: When ‘Best Practices’ Fall Flat