POST WRITTEN BY Expert Panel, Forbes Coaches Council
Top business and career coaches from Forbes Coaches Council offer firsthand insights on leadership development & careers.
Many companies are leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning today, and the impact of these technologies is only expected to increase. While this is great for businesses looking to improve their performance, many employees worry that robots will take over their jobs within the next few years.
While AI may certainly change certain types of jobs, they will never fully replace human workers—you just need to know how to maintain and sell your skills. Forbes Coaches Council members shared tips for “future proofing” yourself for an AI-driven working world.
1. Learn To Interpret The Value Of Data
New innovations will require everyone to become increasingly familiar with tech. That doesn’t mean everyone will be tech savvy. There is significant power, however, in learning to calculate and interpret data. This is a skill that will see an increase in demand in the workforce and will help solidify value as an employee or potential leader. – LaKisha Greenwade, Lucki Fit LLC
2. Learn, Execute, Teach, Serve
I coach leaders and corporate professionals to adopt our “L.E.T.S. Grow” approach to new technology in the workplace. The acronym stands for Learn, Execute, Teach and Serve. When corporate professionals take this early adopter approach, they become high-impact leaders who encourage their colleagues to embrace technology changes for the benefit of the company and its customers. – Cheryl Powers, Align Strategic
3. Be Honest With Yourself About Your Skill Gaps
Part of being a responsible professional is a commitment to staying current with changing technology and customer needs. Be honest with yourself about the areas you need to get up to speed on, and rather than trying to hide it, do the work to reach the level of mastery you want to achieve to stay relevant for the future. Don’t blame the change, embrace it. – Tonya Echols, Vigere
4. Focus On Building Relationships
Refocus on AI and ML as tools that can deliver increased value and service by ridding you of certain tasks. They don’t replace the core of business: relationships. Be knowledgeable and embrace the benefit and differentiating value. First, it gives you more time to focus on client-centric priorities. Second, as a leader, it helps you build and maintain relationships, strengthening your expertise. – Lisa K McDonald, Career Polish, Inc.
5. Keep Learning
AI and ML are changing the skills needed to stay relevant, but they are also creating new opportunities for the advancement of careers. Mundane tasks will become automated and people will have greater opportunities to make strategic, insightful decisions with their organizations. Invest in learning a new skill, whether it’s how to leverage a new technology, build it or scale it through leadership. – Leanne Wong, True Talent Advisory
6. Identify And Promote Your Past Career Wins
AI and ML can replace many functions, but they can’t replace the way you inspire others to great results, the influence you have on business deals and stakeholder satisfaction, or the energy you bring as a leader. Reflect on your top career wins, particularly those of impact on the company. Develop and advertise these competencies in and outside your job via social media and professional groups. – Laura Smith-Proulx, CCMC, CPRW, CIC, COPNS, CTTCC, An Expert Resume
7. Embrace The Opportunity To Transform
Disruptive new technology leads to obsolescence of current processes, methods and practices. Instead of fighting the change, embrace it! Since you understand the old way, you are best equipped to transform the infrastructure and align to the new technology. This will require you to learn as much as you can about the emerging world order and look for opportunities to be a champion of the change. – Marvin Chambers, Built To Last Solutions, LLC
8. Boost Your Communication Skills
I view AI as a tool—a resource that serves to improve productivity and efficiency. Consider the fact that your professional impact goes beyond the tasks you perform daily. Your ability to communicate, solve problems through logic and empathize with customers and peers is important. Having strong communication and leadership skills is a must as our economy continues to change. – Jeanna McGinnis, Mentor Happy
9. Develop A Growth Mindset
AI does not solely impact jobs involving automation. It will impact all phases and aspects of our lives. To thrive, develop a growth mindset by building knowledge, resilience and adaptability. Read everything you can about industries, functions and strategies exploring AI. Volunteer to help your company and leaders move forward with AI awareness and planning. Focus on and sharpen your soft skills. – Joanne Markow, GreenMason
10. Define How You Fit Into The New Working World
Technology has existed since the development of the wagon wheel. Worrying about technological advances is not going to change the outcome. It is more important for you to educate yourself and prepare for the future world of work. This means seeing innovation as an opportunity and defining how you fit in with the world around you. This means embracing change while being true to yourself. – Kathleen Houlihan, Dream2Career
11. Anticipate New, Exciting Roles You Could Take On Post-Automation
While AI and ML eliminate jobs, they are also the force behind newly created and, often, even more exciting and meaningful roles. So the future is actually great! Professionals should well understand the future skills needed and start to seed them from now through learning and doing. At high level, most of these skills are enhanced human skills, including thinking ability and working with others. – Amy Nguyen, Happiness Infinity LLC
12. Focus On Increasing Your Job Stability
While there is no “future proofing” career security, here are three things you can do to increase job stability. First, uncover hidden issues restraining growth or project success. Second, find where specific contribution is needed and how it will positively impact greater profitability. Third, learn how your bosses think, make their decisions and anticipate their business needs. – Jay Steven Levin, WinThinking
13. Look For Ways To Increase Your Efficiency
To set yourself up for potential opportunities to take on more tasks and projects, be a great employee. Say yes to these opportunities as you will become more skilled, valuable and versatile. You may be thinking, “I’m already too busy!” Fair enough. Say yes, then look for ways to use AI and ML in your role to make you more efficient (reduce costs). This is valuable—you are valuable—to the company. – Jennifer Dowdeswell, JBD Performance Group Inc.
14. Publish Profoundly In Your Field
Many career professionals think they must go on a technology training junket to keep up. While that may be true in most fields, career professionals who create powerful industry content and build their brand by publishing may be able to separate themselves in a sea of sameness and changing technology. Create your point of view in your field and contribute well-written posts, articles and content. – John M. O’Connor, Career Pro Inc.
15. Develop Your ‘Insight’ Muscle
AI is good at spotting trends and at dealing with big data and large numbers, and it can, to some extent, forecast. Ask it “why?” and everything starts to fall apart. AI and ML are good at data, but not great at information. Information is a subset of data. Information, opinion and inference are where we (humans) add real value—real-life experience. To beat the machines, develop insight. – Antonio Garrido, Absolute Sales Development
16. Market Yourself As An Innovator
Automated looms replaced individuals, cars replaced horses, robots replaced assembly line workers; there is always something that appears to threaten the economic status quo and remove jobs. In reality, there are more jobs now and more ways to generate revenue than ever before. To “future proof” yourself, build your ability as an innovator, skilled with people, and create value for others. – Christian Muntean, Vantage Consulting