One implication of all this is that for humans to succeed in the AI-powered future, we need to double down on our humanity. Technical skills will no doubt remain important in the future of work, but as AI allows us to automate repetitive tasks across many industries, these will in many cases take a back seat to soft skills. Communication, emotional intelligence, creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and cognitive flexibility will become the most sought-after abilities. To prepare for that future, we need to emphasize developing higher-order thinking and emotional skills.
While our formal education system catches up to the shifting definition of human intelligence, here are three basic ideas for improving your prospects in the future of work.
Learn to tell stories. Machines aren’t very good at storytelling beyond rote reports. Telling engaging and creative stories is essential if you want to collaborate effectively with other humans. It can improve your communications in many ways—from reframing a product feature to a customer to selling a new internal KPI for how you measure success. A workshop from an organization like The Story Studio is a great place to start.
Boost your creativity. A lot of people think creativity can’t be learned; you either have it, or you don’t. But that’s not true. Creativity is a process and you can ignite that process and improve your chances of creative results. For example, taking regular, reflective breaks, going for walks, and making time for unstructured play (yes, even for adults!) have been shown to boost creativity.
Learn how to sell. Selling is an inherently human trait, and it’s an incredibly important one. I’m not just talking about selling products, but also how to sell yourself, your ideas, and convincing others to get on board with you. Mastering the basic concepts of sales involves a whole lot of very human qualities: understanding psychology, listening and asking questions, empathizing with others, and finding creative solutions to problems.”
Automation may take our jobs—but it’ll restore our humanity