Mind the bots: How to keep your head (and your job!) when AI is king

May 13th, 2019

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AI is the most talked about technological breakthrough of the digital era. And it isn’t hard to work out why – from holographic entertainers and digital GPs to whisky blending automatons, tasks that were once the preserve of creative and intuitive human labour are increasingly being accomplished by non-human masters.

While many employers say otherwise, the World Economic Forum estimates that organisations are on the brink of reducing their human workforces on a global scale (if they haven’t already started doing so) and, even if you don’t lose your job, the Institute for Public Policy Research are warning that automation and robotics will reduce your earnings.

Will your career weather this rise of the machines? Well, it might actually – even though 75 million jobs will be claimed by advancements in tech by 2022, 133 million new ones will be created at the same time.

In the face of triumphant tech, instead of workers transforming into cyborgs and combining smart tech with their human qualities, professionals can follow more traditional routes to ensure their careers withstand change.

While many new career paths will be designed to operate technology that hasn’t even been invented yet, many professional skill sets are propelled forward by soft skills from a larger umbrella – and these are transferable into any industry. Soft skills cannot be mimicked by AI and are evergreen, remaining increasingly beneficial for professional development.

So, perhaps it’s not about future-proofing your skills – but future-proofing your mindset.

In the same way that maths, english and science have been the base pillar of a skilled, savvy professional for many years, in the future we will have alternative pillars that distinguish the most hireable candidates. Whatever those pillars turn out to be, there are ways in which you can start future-proofing your mindset right now, and we’ve compiled them below.

Versatility

This is a quality that you will have been testing and improving upon throughout your career. Staying versatile and easily-adaptable to changing situations will keep you open to new opportunities. It also encourages open-mindedness in regards to learning new skills and even when competing with new technologies. Flexibility keeps professionals relevant and will always be a highly sought-after skill by employers.

Social Intelligence

The social construct of the workplace is layered, complex and about more than knowing who to schmooze and when. The human touch in a conversation derives from emotion, empathy and creativity, and that is not something bots can replace. Be an intuitive brand ambassador for your company and they will view you as an asset – it comes back to that old cliché, “confidence is key”.

Technological Intelligence

Professionals have been surrounded by breakthroughs in tech for much of their careers, so apply this experience and knowledge to give you an edge. Take emerging technologies in your stride, gain insight into trends in your field, embrace the machines that surround you at work and learn how to use them to benefit your career. Do not fear the future – seize the day.

Influence

A successful team consists of members who respect and support each other. Leadership seems a fairly obvious skill but professionals can overlook that the influence held within a team is a defining factor in performance and the ‘human touch’ within work. Combine intuition and instinct with great management, both of yourself and of your team, to scale your employability.

The Take Home

Combine these soft skills with an understanding of technology to go hand in hand with AI into the future. No matter how much AI-blended whisky you drink, you can rely on your mindset to beat the bots and keep you ahead in your career.

What do you think about advancing tech versus the workforce? Chat with me here.