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New Report Says 70 Percent of Workers Would Do This 1 Thing to Get Hired

The decision could push you past competitors–or compromise your ability to innovate altogether.

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BY Wanda Thibodeaux - 08 Jun 2018

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Competition for jobs is at an unprecedented level of fierceness. But as tech and science both get better, how far would you go to up the odds of getting hired? Is your body and brain off limits, or would you tweak them to give yourself an edge?


If you said you'd press go on self-modifications, rest easy. You're in the majority, according to the Workforce of the Future Report from PwC. The report, which surveyed more than 10,000 people from China, Germany, India the UK and the U.S., found that a whopping 70 percent of individuals would consider using treatments to enhance their brain and body if those enhancements meant they had better employment prospects in the future.


Exactly what does "enhancement" mean?


Elizabeth Yates, PwC's Consumer Markets Workforce of the Future Leader, says that many of the enhancements workers would accept would involve substances. Right now, for example, most of us already consume massive amounts of caffeine, which is a readily available stimulant that can combat fatigue and temporarily help with focus and attention. But Yates claims it's likely that companies will develop many more legal substances that enable enhanced performance.


Evidence for this prediction coming to fruition might be found already in Silicon Valley, one of the world's hottest innovation hubs. There, the practice of "biohacking" with fasting, supplements and drugs--many of which are taken without consulting a doctor or aren't even approved for consumption in the United States--has become common due to the intense pressure for both executives and general workers to perform nonstop at higher levels.


"Common or 'average' enhancements [in addition to substances] may be things like the use of hearing aids with Bluetooth technology to connect to mobile devices for those who are not hearing impaired," Yates adds. "Future enhancements could go much further and even include robotic implants that replace or augment human body parts, which is why the ethical and moral aspects must be considered for all potential brain-body modifications."


Why would people press 'upgrade' at all?


Yates says that, while she doesn't think AI will replace the human brain, it will augment how we think and boost the speed at which we can process. With this in mind, Yates claims that people who undergo these types of enhancements can have motivations that are highly individual. And for some people, it might be as much about being king of the hill as it is securing a solid financial future and fulfilling career.


"There are always some people who want to be on the cutting edge and will do almost anything they believe will make come out on top."


As these changes emerge, it will be critical for legislators to develop appropriate regulations, particularly regulations that consider the potential permanent effects of the enhancements. It's also up to each of us to stop and think about why we feel compelled to make the changes.


"I would counsel those who consider any non-medically required modification to understand their own modification and consider the long-term implications, not just the near-term gains that could be achieved."


On the heels of Yates' advice, consider this: If you don't know what the potential safety ramifications of an enhancement are, then you don't know if you can protect your ability to innovate, either. That's an incredibly risky hand to play, and there's no magic cloak that makes you invincible, no matter what your title might happen to be. Regardless of how pure your intentions for the modifications are, if it comes down to your creativity or a job, always pick the first.

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