The robots are coming?! Wrong, they are already here. Artificially intelligent programs are taking over everything from coding, to writing, creating artwork, managing time, driving our cars, and telling us how to live our lives.
This blog is based on a keynote I recently gave:
People are worried about their jobs. They are worried that a robot is going to do their job. Or worse, that a robot will be able to do it BETTER. As developers, there are many programs out there that are already coding as we do. ChatGPT can build websites, GitHub Copilot can translate code and create code for us, and automation tools are making the type of development work we do very different.
So what's it all going to come to? Will we still have a job? Or will be robots do it for us? Instead of thinking about the fact we might not have a job, let's look at things we can do to ensure we do have a job.
The future of work is going to be defined differently than it is today. Work will be a mix of humans and robots, connection and automation coming together to work effectively. In the new age, robots will be doing a lot of the jobs that are done today by humans. Rest assured, most of these will be the boring, mundane tasks, that free us up to be more creative.
But to ensure we can work efficiently and effectively with AI, we need to cultivate the skills needed for the future of work.
According to a study conducted by LinkedIn, the top five most desirable soft skills for the future of work are not what we might think they are. In recently years, some soft skills are no longer needed. Time Management for example was one skill that was highly desirable a few years ago. Now there are plenty of services that can do this for us.
These are currently the top five most desirable soft skills:
- Emotional Intelligence
Let's take a look at each one a little closer.
In more recent years, computers have become much more creative. Especially with AI art programs such as Midjourney and Dall-E. However, we as humans are very creative. We are good at finding and creating new jobs for ourselves. We are capable of creating amazing things from almost nothing. History has certainly taught us that.
If you have a creative streak, you should develop this. If you don't, try out some of these AI artwork platforms. Get creative with prompts, see how you can be the artist. It's also important to note that creativity doesn't exclusively relate to artwork. You can be creative in the way you solve a problem, come up with a new idea, or even in your daily life.
Artwork created in Stable Diffusion 10 using Night Cafe.
These AI artwork generators and similar are there to give us a good basis on where to start being creative. They can help us get our ideas on paper quickly, and can help with things like writers' block.
There's a really good book called "How to Win Friends & Influence People" by Dale Carnegie. This book is a benchmark on business success and personal development. It tells you how to get along with people in your daily life and how to go about doing good business. This key skill is so important for the future of work.
Being able to persuade people is something humans typically need to practice a lot. By being persuasive and influential, you can win people over, handle complaints, avoid arguments, be more productive, and encourage people to adopt a certain way of thinking or life. If you're good at this skill, you'll be highly coveted in the new era of work. You can sell products better, serve customers better, influence team members, and ensure a better outcome for all.
Teamwork and collaboration are important skills. If you can't play nice, then you're unlikely to have a job in this new age. And I don't just mean good teamwork with humans. I also mean having good collaboration with our AI counterparts. If you have good collaboration and teamwork, your project will run on time, the outcome will be better, bias will be dealt with, and so much more. People who have good collaborative skills are highly desirable now, and will be more so in future.
I mention above that humans are good at creating new jobs for ourselves. This is because we aren't just creative, we're adaptive. We're able to adapt to new ways of living and working. Well, at least we should be, especially for the future of work. If we have good adaptability, we can quickly adjust to changes in the workplace. Things like a new development system, new coding language, new process, and yes, even having AI in our workplace. Adaptability is a must needed skill!
This is an interesting one as this is a skill that has only recently been recognised and become desirable. Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to be able to recognise, understand, and then manage our emotions. More importantly, it also means being able to recognise, understand and influence the emotions of others.
People with high emotional intelligence are able to better navigate all the things I've spoken about above. Things like communicating and collaborating effectively, managing stress, and good decision making. As AI becomes more prominent, emotional intelligence is key as this is something still not easily replicated by machines.
Okay, so now you know what skills are needed for the future of work. These skills are highly important and they need to be cultivated to ensure you have a job! In the next article, I go over how to develop and nurture these skills: