The nature of work is ever evolving. Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are spurring a new revolution, transforming jobs in every industry from IT to manufacturing.
According to one report, about 25% of jobs in the United States are at risk of being automated, and we’re seeing similar numbers and projections all around the globe in other markets. Understandably, this trend is making people a little nervous about their job security.
However, automation won’t necessarily eliminate jobs. It will more than likely transform them by taking over simple and repetitive tasks. People will, in turn, move on to positions which require more interpersonal skills.
Here are six such skills that can never been replaced by automation.
The Human Touch
While Siri is great at giving you directions to the nearest cafe, she can’t really understand how you’re feeling. Even with the most advanced learning, technology will never be able to comprehend our emotions and respond in the way that a human can.
Whether it’s a team leader helping employees through a difficult time, account managers working with clients, or hiring managers looking for the perfect candidate, you need empathy to get those jobs done. A robot will simply never be able to compare.
2. Content Creation
Content fuels the digital world. While automation can create or copy simple content, it can’t tell a brand story effectively. It can’t create business reports with clear outcomes and insights, particularly without a full knowledge of human context. Because of this, there will always be a position for people with content creation skills in the workforce.
3. Tech Management
Robots can’t (and shouldn’t) be managing robots. Humans will always need to be there to design, plan, install, and maintain any digital systems. Rather than fearing technology, it’s essential to understand its purpose and the best strategies for using it, as this will be a highly in-demand skill in the future.
Like empathy, communication skills can’t be automated because each scenario is different. Effective communication is an art: it considers the situation, the values and objectives of stakeholders, historical context, and business objectives. While technology may be inching closer to recognizing facial expressions, it will never communicate as effectively as a human can.
Automation can remove the legwork of implementing tasks but it’s a long way from being able to provide an overarching strategy that gives each task relevance in the grand scheme of things. Regardless of which industry or field you’re in, strategic thinking is a skill that will always be valued and human.
Experts haven’t even managed to pinpoint exactly why some humans are more creative than others. So, it’s safe to say it’s near impossible for computers to replicate the spark of creativity that has led to the world’s most amazing business feats.
The reason is simple: automation and AI is programmed, even when it’s using machine learning. Creativity, on the other hand, is spontaneous and requires imagination, dreaming and collective inspiration.
Tips to Future-Proof Your Career
While interpersonal skills will never be automated, it doesn’t mean technology won’t affect your career in some way (if it hasn’t already). These tips will help equip you for the future of work:
- Highlight your interpersonal skills in your resume.
- Focus on understanding and using technology by taking classes or keeping up-to-date on innovations.
- Build your personal development plan with these skills in mind.
If you’d like to learn more about your career options, please reach out to the expert consultants at Michael Page and browse our advice section.