The increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) has raised concerns about its potential impact on job security. However, instead of debating whether AI is superior to humans, it is important to consider how we can use it to enhance our capabilities. Microsoft's Work Trend Index report, which surveyed 31,000 individuals across 31 markets between February and March 2023, found that 82% of global leaders and 85% of leaders in the Asia Pacific region believe that employees need new skills to work effectively with AI. Many industries are already feeling the impact of automation and AI, and it's clear that jobs that are repetitive and predictable are the most vulnerable to being replaced by machines. However, there are steps you can take to protect your career from AI and ensure that you remain relevant in the workforce.
The report identifies analytical judgement, flexibility, and emotional intelligence as the top three skills that leaders view as essential for the future, regardless of whether they are in technical roles or AI-related positions. Emotional intelligence is also a key skill in deciding when to use AI over human expertise. AI-generated responses require human judgement to decide whether to accept, modify, or discard them. Other skills identified in the report as increasingly important in the AI-powered future include intellectual curiosity, bias detection and handling, and AI delegation prompts.
The rise of generative AI, exemplified by Microsoft's recent partnership with OpenAI, has also led to concerns about potential job losses resulting from the automation of tasks. A Goldman Sachs report estimates that 300 million jobs worldwide could be affected by automation and AI, especially in office and administrative support roles. However, Microsoft's general manager for Microsoft 365 and "future of work", Colette Stallbaumer, emphasised in an interview with CNBC Make It that AI is more likely to create new jobs than replace existing ones.
LinkedIn also notes that the skills required in today's job market are rapidly evolving, driven in large part by AI. In 2022, the five fastest-growing AI-related skills were question answering, classification, recommender systems, computer vision, and natural language processing. Although the introduction of generative AI is already reshaping the labor market, AI talent is still in high demand and is growing at a faster rate than overall hiring across the Asia Pacific region.
Professionals are taking control of their careers and using skills as building blocks to design their own career paths, with many organizations taking a skills-first approach to hiring. The expansion of opportunities and creation of new roles resulting from the growth of AI will augment productivity in the long run.
To future-proof your career in the age of intelligent machines, here are five strategies as first noted by Harvard Business Review:
The growing use of artificial intelligence (AI) has raised concerns about its potential impact on job security. However, instead of debating whether AI is superior to humans, it's important to consider how we can use it to enhance our capabilities. Here are five strategies to future-proof your career in the age of intelligent machines.
The skills that AI cannot replicate
Focus on the soft skills that AI cannot replicate, such as empathy, self-awareness, and creativity. While AI can be trained to be polite and creative, it cannot display genuine emotions. Therefore, by focusing on developing these skills, you can differentiate yourself from AI capabilities. While AI is excellent at repetitive tasks and data analysis, it struggles with tasks that require emotional intelligence, creativity, and critical thinking. This means that developing skills in these areas can help protect your career from being automated. Soft skills such as communication, leadership, and problem-solving are also becoming increasingly important in the age of AI.
Double down on developing real-world skills
This means fine-tuning communication, problem-solving, and collaboration skills, which are required for physical tasks. As AI is limited to the digital world, these skills are highly valuable in the job market. Developing real-world skills means focusing on tasks that require physical presence and interaction with the environment. This includes tasks that require hand-eye coordination, manual dexterity, and other skills that are not easily replicable by AI. For example, occupations such as plumbers, electricians, and mechanics require real-world skills that are not easily replaced by machines. Another aspect of developing real-world skills is to fine-tune communication, problem-solving, and collaboration skills. These are skills that are required for many physical tasks and are highly valued in the job market. These skills are particularly important in roles that require interaction with customers or clients, such as sales, marketing, and customer service.
In addition to honing communication and problem-solving skills, developing a collaborative mindset is also essential. This means working effectively in teams, sharing knowledge and expertise, and leveraging the strengths of others to achieve common goals. Collaborative skills are particularly important in roles that involve project management or team leadership, as these roles require the ability to manage diverse personalities, facilitate communication, and coordinate the efforts of multiple stakeholders.
Avoid becoming predictable
Embracing your personality, serendipity, and unpredictability. While AI can help with ideation and initial drafts, relying on it too heavily can lead to homogenization. By bucking conventional wisdom, you can differentiate yourself from the crowd. In a world where AI is becoming increasingly prevalent, it's essential to avoid becoming too predictable. Embracing your personality and being open to serendipity can help you stand out from the crowd. While AI can provide helpful insights, relying on it too heavily can lead to homogenization. So, be daring and buck conventional wisdom to differentiate yourself and your work.
Be a lifelong learner
Stay open to learning and adapting to changes as AI continues to evolve. This means being willing to try new things, experiment, and continuously develop your skills and knowledge. It's also crucial to be proactive about seeking out new opportunities and learning experiences. This means looking for opportunities to work on projects that are outside your comfort zone and taking on new challenges that will help you develop new skills. Seeking out feedback from colleagues and mentors can also help you identify areas where you can improve and develop new capabilities. AI and Machine Learning recruiting company, Razoroo provides resources for potential candidates looking to upskill themselves to remain valuable in a dynamic talent environment.
Seek out roles that require a combination of human and AI capabilities
This can future-proof your career by adding unique value that cannot be replicated by machines. It's essential to cultivate a growth mindset and embrace a lifelong learning approach. The pace of technological change means that the skills that are valuable today may not be in demand tomorrow. By remaining open to new experiences and committed to ongoing learning and development, you'll be better equipped to adapt to changing circumstances and stay ahead of the curve.
By focusing on developing skills that machines strive to emulate, doubling down on the real world, avoiding predictability, being a lifelong learner, and seeking out hybrid roles, you can future-proof your career in the age of intelligent machines. AI has its advantages, but it cannot replace the unique value that humans bring to the table.