Preparing for AI: Futureproofing your career

Time and again we hear about how technology continues to impact the workplace and the workforce. There have been many discussions about the potentially positive or negative impacts Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation may have on employment. But no one really knows for sure what the outcome will be, with a range of predictions about what automation will hold for the future: more jobs, different jobs, less jobs, or even no jobs.

Nevertheless, with the pace of technological advances, people will require different and new skills more than ever before – not only to stay employable now but also to anticipate the demands of tomorrow and keep up to speed with the changing demands of the workforce in the long-run. However, we believe that the future of work will remain bright and more opportunities will be created, with this shift having the potential to make the world of work much more rewarding.

To help bring the potential of the future of work to life, we’ve created a list of reasons why AI and automation could be beneficial for the future of work and how you can make the most of it to futureproof your career.

  1. Repetitive work will be removed
    Let’s be honest – people want to do work which is worthwhile and meaningful. Not only so that they can add value to their organisation, but also to feel valued by the organisation in return. The adoption of AI will lift the burden of uninteresting and repetitive activities. As a result, the types of work will change, with many of these administrative jobs disappearing and being replaced by new, higher level roles.

    Develop your soft skills: This shift has the potential to make a role much more satisfying and rewarding, leaving you to do more complex, emotive and empathetic work, which are all things that are hard to codify into a machine. This will therefore be the perfect time for you to start focusing on developing soft skills more, including: communication, listening, negotiation, creativity, innovation and more, which will be more valued in the future.

  2. Collaboration between machine and humans will increase
    With digitisation and growth in skilled work bringing more opportunities, we’ll be seeing the development of more shared roles – with some of the work carried out by a human who is supported by an intelligent machine.

    Maintain your dual skills: The key here is to be agile and have the ability to collaborate with other people as well as with AI. However, whilst you’re working hard to develop your skills for the future, be sure to refresh your existing knowledge. This is particularly relevant in IT where legacy systems are likely to remain in place for some time.

  3. Flexible working is crucial for the 24/7 digital world
    Future technology will continue to make remote working easier, as well as developing the ability to assess people’s productivity and quality of work. Whilst not every organisation is able to accommodate all types of flexible working arrangements, by providing a range of practices they will attract a wider talent pool, as well as maximising productivity.

    Adapt to flexibility: The ability to operate flexibly in terms of hours and location will be crucial for the future world of work. With the IT sector continuing to face an increasing talent shortage, you can take advantage of the supply/demand imbalance. This will be regardless of your age, stage in your career, or whether you’re a contractor or in permanent employment. If you have the ability to work more flexibly, you could remain increasingly in demand and stay employable for the long-run.

  4. AI will create new areas of expertise
    Whilst AI has the potential to drastically streamline a lot of tedious processes, it is unlikely that humans will be removed from the workplace. It’s important to remember that machines still rely heavily on humans to be built, let alone be maintained to keep them working. This in itself will require new areas of expertise and demand for new skills – bear in mind that the number of machines will continue to grow, with each having a different kind of purpose.

    Invest in your learnability: The time where getting an education at a young age and using the same skills and knowledge to work for the rest of your working life is over. With the world of work becoming less predictable and structured, a wider range of skills will be required. It’s therefore crucial to keep learning and developing your skills to remain relevant, flexible and adaptable. The more you invest in your development and understanding – especially in areas where there’s a lot of demand – the more you’ll become a subject matter expert and be able to take advantage of new opportunities, putting yourself on a path to success.

  5. Automation will change recruitment
    AI algorithms can be designed to assess CVs for desired skills and experiences, searching databases for potential candidates who match roles. This could make the initial stages of the recruitment process more flexible, potentially helping to: remove unconscious bias, run processes outside of business hours, tap into both active and passive candidates, and ultimately free up more time for recruiters to work directly with candidates.

    AI may also benefit less confident individuals – taking away some of the focus from a candidate’s ability to perform well in an interview situation, and refocusing it on the accurate assessment of capabilities.

    Keep your online CVs and LinkedIn profile up-to-date: Whether your CV or LinkedIn profile will be read by a machine or recruiter, it’s always a good thing to keep your details up-to-date – you never know when the next opportunity may come your way. However, with technology becoming increasingly sophisticated, you won’t need to use an excessive number of technical expressions for your details to be picked up. Whilst using some keywords will be helpful, instead, focus more on listing your achievements, projects you’ve worked on and any problems you’ve solved, to strengthen the quality of your career profile. Don’t forget to back these up with any key figures to support all of your accomplishments.

The shift from job security to career security

With the emergence of the Skills Revolution, the need to upskill and adapt will be the defining challenge of our time.

Job security no longer means a guaranteed job-for-life but rather developing the skills needed to match market needs – not only to stay employable now but to also remain relevant in the long-run, and for jobs we may not even have heard of yet.

However, on the whole, technological advances are a positive evolution. Although some may associate the terms AI, automation and machines with a negative impact on the workforce, we believe that ultimately, more jobs will be created than destroyed.