There’s so much uncertainty about how artificial intelligence (AI) will affect the way people find work and advance in their careers. Humanity Works: Merging Technologies and People for the Workforce of the Future, the latest book by Alexandra Levit, focuses on the traits of humans, not on technology. Let’s look at a few ways professionals can stand out from AI to remain competitive and valuable in the workplace.
Here are some of Levit’s suggestions on competing with small machines:
1. Rely on emotional intelligence
Levit said professionals must “develop the skills they need to compete with small machines: namely empathy, intuition, judgment, and interpersonal sensitivity.” Machines aren’t programmed for emotional intelligence. Only humans can employ these attributes without relying on anyone to process it.
Despite the positive business side of automation, the human role is not disappearing. After all, it took humans to build and program the software and the machine. Develop these necessary skills to show your value.
2. Be vigilant of how technology is changing your career industry’s landscape
We experience how shortcuts and ease are the catalysts for change every day. Perhaps not for every change, but the indicating factors seem to equal saving money and time. Through awareness, you can remain competitive and align with the trends.
Levit says, “Professionals can prepare by reading the writing on the wall and noting the aspects of their jobs most likely to be automated, and get ahead of it by reskilling into areas where human expertise and traits are still required. They will be more successful in the contract workforce if they practice taking on new types of assignments in their current organizations, especially cross-functional ones, and work diligently on their personal brand and marketing.”
3. Present this one skill to stand out
While skills are a dime a dozen in some industries, Levit says integrity is the one skill professionals can set themselves apart from their competition: “…integrity is one of the most critical traits a job seeker at any level can display. I think this is only going to become more important as candidates have more access to technology and systems that may be able to more easily misrepresent qualifications and abilities.”
4. Be open to the extinction of one full-time job
The idea of having one full-time job to meet all of your financial and career advancement is slowly dissipating, although it still exists. Levit says, “Full-time work won’t be a thing of the past anytime soon, but it will become less common and more professionals will be thrust into the contract workforce whether they like it or not. I think a majority of contract workers WILL work 2+ gigs at once. This will be essential to earn a living. And yes, many will find it difficult to balance new business development with existing work and other obligations.”
The idea of today’s professional being a business of one has come to life. The constant marketing, contracting and negotiating of yourself no longer refers to storefront businesses. This is the 2019 and beyond careerist—the professional who will need to strategize, execute, and obtain their next opportunities while finishing their current one.
Levit says she sees it happening already: “A recent study by QuickBase illustrated that today’s professionals want to choose the technology they use to do their jobs and having this choice is a major factor in the jobs they decide to take. Organizations employing all types of professionals need to become more flexible and trusting of workers when it comes to the best technology available to get the job done.”