I’m constantly irked when people say they hate technology and that we are better off living without it. It’s here to stay. And the best bet for surviving an automated future will be to join em’, not beat em’. But in this fast-changing employment landscape, recognising the soft skills required to future proof your career is critical.
It is important for us to make sure we set ourselves apart from the robots by brushing up on skills that are truly human. Because the truth is that while automation is making some work faster and more efficient. Those kinds of jobs are actually much simpler and less common than we think.
Right now robots are good at managing one action at a time. Let’s say ‘Instruction A’ that will produce one result: ‘Result B’...
You know those verification screens that come up when you forget your Facebook password a few times and have to choose all of the pictures with traffic lights to get back in? Robots are great at doing that! We instruct them to find all the pictures of traffic lights and the program tells us how many pictures of traffic lights there are.
The downside is that they have to be trained. With data. Meaning your bot would need to see thousands of photos with traffic lights, and have you point them out before it would be able to pick it up alone.
For you, that job would require one second of thought and no training. And there are truck loads of jobs that require much more than that simple ‘Instruction A, result B’ process.
For example you have probably noticed your computer falling short when it comes to its ability to communicate with empathy and compassion. You would never send your family an email to let them know that you have been diagnosed with cancer - right?
Technology is long off being able to recognise human emotion, think strategically, listen actively and consider other people’s feelings. And it definitely falls short when it comes to problem solving and thinking strategically. These areas are where humans excel, and developing those human, soft skills that will be instrumental in being able to future proof your career and to set yourself apart from the functional, automated workforce.
No matter how advanced artificial intelligence may become we will still need humans to pass judgement on those not so straightforward situations. So, any job that requires you to think strategically, along with the skills to be able to do so quickly and confidently will be the way to go for robot proofing your career.