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4 Tips to Future Proof Your Career in an AI-Driven World

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Technology and innovation have accelerated at rates unseen before in history. Thanks to recent major strides in machine learning—the science of teaching computers to solve problems—we’ve started unlocking a new and exciting world of tools: artificial intelligence (AI).

Pew Research finds that 19% of American workers are in jobs that are the most exposed to AI, meaning the most important activities may be either replaced or assisted by AI. While this research doesn’t predict the likelihood of AI leading to job loss, that is a growing concern among many workers.

However, amidst this workplace transformation, AI is creating new opportunities and expanding existing roles. With the right strategy, you can not only survive in this changing landscape but also thrive and blossom in your career. Here, we’ll explore four proactive ways for you to future-proof your career!

How Will AI Impact You?

The first step in future-proofing your career is understanding the future of AI and, more specifically, how growing AI capabilities will impact you. To do this, start conducting thorough research.

Look into current AI systems and their scope of capabilities. Play around with free tools available online. Find out what AI can do now. Then, dive into the near future by looking into emerging AI applications and reading about recent breakthroughs. How much better will these tools get?

Once you’ve grasped the current and (possible) future state of AI, contextualize it within your work. Consider the following questions:

  • Which of my current tasks could be automated by AI today?
  • What parts of my work are at risk of AI impact in the next decade?
  • How could AI enhance my current or future work?
  • Could AI integrate with humans to work more effectively?

This process will help you realize the possible effects that AI could have on your day-to-day life, which will be critical in future-proofing your career. The more clarity you gain on AI’s trajectory in your industry, the better prepared you’ll be to align your skills.

Learn Digital Skills to Adapt

Now that you’ve studied the landscape and understood how AI will affect you, it’s time to start reskilling. This is the practice of expanding your professional toolkit, and the best way to do it here is via digital skills.

This technical knowledge will allow you to adapt to an AI-enabled future and be ready to leverage these powerful tools to create value and stay valued.

But what should you focus on?

It would be futile to pick out digital skills randomly and hope for the best. Instead, try to identify high-leverage skills. These competencies should be

  1. Uniquely relevant to your job and its future, and
  2. Also at a low risk of being replaced by AI

This is where your research from the last step will come in handy since it offers a comprehensive analysis of AI’s impact on you.

For example, if your role entails a lot of manual input and repetitive processes, consider learning about automating with AI.

Or maybe your work involves copywriting, brainstorming, and writing email campaigns. In that case, you could master modern AI prompting techniques to streamline the creation process.

Prioritize Building Soft Skills

Even though computers are taking over more and more of the work that humans once did, they will never truly become substitutes for people. While machines are great at doing fast calculations or lots of manual entry, some things require a distinctly human touch. This is work that involves creativity, strategic communication, empathy, and so much more.

Since machines cannot do this well, people with strong soft skills will only become more valuable as time passes. There will be a premium placed on human insight.

So, be proactive.

Start honing the soft skills that machines can never replicate. For instance, you could practice giving someone thoughtful yet honest feedback, something AI would struggle with. Or you could read about the arts of persuasion and negotiation, both of which are highly valued skills in almost any field.

Embrace Continuous Learning

This surge of AI progress has made one thing abundantly clear: change is constant.

The world will forever keep shifting and evolving, and sometimes, those changes will inevitably impact us. Embrace the mindset of being a continuous, lifelong learner. That means reading about your field for fun, seeking opportunities to upskill, and never letting your knowledge stagnate.

Lifelong learning is invaluable in future-proofing your career. Most industries are in flux. By keeping your skills updated, you remain relevant in your industry, even as it changes.

Once you’ve future-proofed your career for the upcoming AI revolution, don’t stop there! Keep learning, even if you don’t need to. Sign up for newsletters about emerging developments in AI, read books by thought leaders in your field, and keep yourself tuned into what’s new related to your work. Knowledge and vigilance are the ultimate future-proofing tools.

How to Future Proof Your Career

The rise of AI will undoubtedly transform the workforce and many individual careers. However, this change shouldn’t be a cause for concern but rather, a sign to start preparing. These new technologies can unlock new opportunities to learn, expand your skills, and grow professionally. The key is to maintain a hopeful and proactive perspective.

Start by assessing your situation. How will AI impact your role specifically, now and in the future?

Then, upskill yourself. Learn digital skills relevant to your job scope, like automation and prompt engineering. Also, improve your uniquely human abilities, like creativity and communication—AI can’t master these soft skills.

Finally, embrace the mindset of a continuous, lifelong learner. View change as an optimistic chance to grow and help future proof your career.

Whether you’re looking for a new job in AI, or wanting resources to improve your job search, Insight Global has you covered.