Many of society’s jobs are already automated – and more and more are threatened by the march of machines. So what can we humans do to futureproof ourselves and stay relevant?

FLASHBACK 20 (or so) years to 1996. Kodak, seen at the time as one of the world’s leading technology innovators, was worth $38billion and employed 140,000 people. That’s an average worth of $270,000 per employee.

Skip forward to recent times. YouTube sold for $1.65 billion and employed 65 employees - placing each employee’s value at $25m. Instagram then sold to Facebook for $1b with just 13 employees (each worth a cool $77 million). WhatsApp then blew both out of the water - selling for $19 billion and in the process, if you apply the same formula, making its 55 employees worth a staggering a $345m a head.

Technology has allowed the emergence of exponentially fast-growing companies that leverage technology. They require fewer employees, but more tech-savvy ones. More and more companies are trying to replicate this model - that is: hire fewer, but more tech-savvy people - and as this happens, job roles are slowly being replaced by skillsets. Employers require their staff to have an ever-growing number of skills.

A McKinsey report from late 2015 stated that 45 per cent of the activities individuals are currently paid to perform could be automated by adapting currently demonstrated technologies.

A World Economic Forum summary about the future of jobs found that by 2020, a third of desired skillsets of most occupations will not be the ones considered crucial to the same jobs today. A direct side-effect of this rapid change in such a short amount of time is a major digital skills shortage crisis, which the UK’s Science and Technology Committee published a report warning of last year.

All of this paints a rather grim picture for the amount of jobs available in the future and the number of people with the required skillsets available to do these jobs. But, the good news, according to London’s first monthly growth marketing course provider, Growth Tribe, is that you can future-proof your career and your own skillset.

They suggest five things you can do to get ready for the future:

Self learn: Learning doesn’t stop after you leave university. Some, like billionaire entrepreneur Peter Thiel, are even arguing that it shouldn’t start there in the first place and researchers have found found a clear disconnect between what employers need and what universities teach.

But you needn’t panic. It’s never been as easy to take education into your own hands. On and offline courses are readily available and affordable. You can take learning how to work better with technology into your own hands.

Learn the coding basics. Learn about behavioural psychology and automation tools. Play with data. Stay curious, seek out relevant training and use the resource in your back pocket to upskill on the go.

Start a company: Investing in and starting your own business forces you to solve problems, grow, learn and adapt - if you want to succeed, that is. You’ll be future-proofing yourself without even realising as you work to create your own website, social media strategy, app, marketing and sales channels and plans, etc. You also don’t need a million pounds to start. Online accounting firm FreeAgent found that the majority of UK freelancers and micro-business owners were self-funding their start-up costs rather than relying on external funding.

Solve problems: There are little day-to-day issues all around us, every day, that could be made easier with the use of technology. Think about contactless payment, for example. All of a sudden we’re at a place where having to key your pin in seems like a bit of a pain.

Develop a growth mindset: If you have the desire and the mindset, you can learn anything. A “growth mindset”, a term famously coined by psychologist Carol Dweck, refers to a person’s self-belief about their own abilities. Think about any inspirational person that you associate with entrepreneurialism or who in some way is pushing boundaries and punching above their weight. Chances are it’s not because they were born with any special gift or ability more impressive than most of us - it’s because they have a finely tuned growth mindset - they’re willing to try, to fail, to learn and to keep growing.

Create: Finally, start doing. Growth Tribe's David Arnoux says your greatest credential in this era is your output of stuff. The skills listed on your CV are just words without proof. There are cheap and easy-to-use tools which allow you to build, create and showcase. Use what is available to you to build a website, a blog, a prototype, a simple data model... build stuff and showcase it.

“Traditionally, life has been divided into two main parts: a period of learning, followed by a period of working," says Yuval Noah Harari, historian and author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. "Very soon this traditional model will become utterly obsolete, and the only way for humans to stay in the game will be to keep learning throughout their lives and to reinvent themselves repeatedly."