How to avoid robots taking your job

There have been A LOT of articles in recent years threatening the possibility of robots taking our jobs (and there’s actually a whole website dedicated to helping people find out how at risk their job role is - as a marketing manager, my risk of replacement is a reassuringly low 1%... for now).

But for roles in data entry, telemarketing and watch repairing, all assessed as having a 99% risk for eventual automation, there may be a case for expanding your skillset to keep your job safe from robots. So if you’re worried about robots taking your job, improve your future job prospects or just pick up some new skills to help you in the workplace, which skills should you be considering?

Get more creative

One thing computers aren’t great at yet is being creative. Sure, some computers can generate poetry, but in general, humans are superior when it comes to coming up with creative ideas and taking inspiration from the world around us. In fact, humans and computers work well together when it comes to creativity - how many times a day do people turn to Pinterest or Instagram for interior design, recipe or beauty inspiration?

Maybe it's time to consider a job share with a robot...

Improve your people skills

While artificial intelligence and computers’ ability to understand natural language is improving, it’s very hard for a human to relate to an artificial being in the same way they do another human.

Roles in areas like social work and counselling are pretty robot-safe for the time being, as they require the ability to empathise and connect with others on a human level. HR and many medical roles generally involve understanding nuance and the full context of difficult situations, so understanding others is likely to become an increasingly important skill.

Totara Learn: How to avoid robots taking your job

Develop your practical capabilities

Robots have been touted as ‘the future of surgery’, and they are currently being used to assist with relatively straightforward operations. However, as of yet, a robot can’t locate someone in a burning building and rescue them safely, and they can’t yet build houses or rescue a drowning person stranded at sea.

Also, understandably, it could take some time before people feel comfortable letting a robot take the reins when they go under the knife for a complex operation. Skills like these are likely to be the domain of humans for some time yet, so they could be a good bet if you’re looking to expand your professional skill set. 

Become an expert in your field

While in theory, a computer has access to pretty much all the information in the world, that doesn’t mean it understands it. Building knowledge and experience in your field is invaluable, as you will be the person that everyone turns to in your organisation when they need answers.

This could mean mastering a system, getting to know the ins and outs of the theory behind your line of work or gaining qualifications to prove your expertise - however you choose to do it, your expertise will always be valuable.

Get started with Skills Journey

If you’re a learning professional looking to improve your skills, why not register for Skills Journey? If your organisation registers, you will have access to a series of courses to help you develop your L&D skills, whether that’s improving your learning design skills, the way you work with stakeholders or the way you deal with the press and PR requests.

If you’re ready to get started on your Skills Journey, your organisation can register here, (here's a handy overview of what it’s all about).