Upskilling Yourself for the Future of Work
Not people or computers, but people and computers
The emergence of AI tools and software such as ChatGPT and DALL-E2 has sparked a debate about the role of AI in the workplace and its impact on the relevance of our work. As these advances continue to shape the Future of Work, there are concerns about who will benefit or lose out.
While it's true that computers can perform certain tasks better than humans, like crunching numbers, finding patterns, and remembering information, it’s important to recognize the skills and abilities that humans possess that AI can’t replicate - like general intelligence, such as non-routine reasoning, defining abstractions, and interpersonal skills.
But imagine if humans and robots can work together and complement each other’s skills. Some research calls this superminds or compares the relationship to a superorganism, like a beehive or an ant colony. The point is, collaboration between humans and computers can unlock the ability to achieve feats that neither could accomplish individually.
To harness the power of AI and work together toward innovation, efficiency, and progress, it’s essential to leverage its capabilities to our advantage. This is where upskilling plays a pivotal role by equipping individuals with the necessary knowledge and skills to collaborate with AI effectively.
5 steps to upskilling in an AI world
Upskilling is the process of using additional training or education to build upon and advance your skills in your current industry. It’s something that you can do for yourself or offer it to others. Here are your first steps:
🤓 Become an AI expert in your industry
The first step to upskilling for AI is to get a general understanding of its effect on your industry. This can be obtained by talking with other experts in the field, reading research publications, and even scrolling through the news. Once you have these insights, analyze how AI has impacted the industry as a whole: what were the changes in customer behavior, shifts in market demand, and advancements in technology? Then, evaluate how AI has impacted your business specifically. Are there areas where you could improve efficiency and find new opportunities for growth? Compare your operations to those of your competitors or industry leaders to see where you stand.
🍦 Develop soft skills
Although AI is proficient in executing repetitive and routine tasks, it falls short in connecting with people on an emotional level. Honing your soft skills, like communication, problem-solving, and empathy, can elevate your worth to employers. By enhancing your interpersonal abilities, you can showcase your potential to work collaboratively in a team, resolve conflicts, and interact with clients. These skills are crucially appreciated in various industries and are challenging for AI to imitate.
🎨 Develop your creativity
AI struggles to show the creative and imaginative flair that humans possess. So, nurturing your creative skills can exhibit your competence in devising novel solutions to complex problems. You can enhance your creativity by undertaking various activities, such as learning a new language, participating in art classes, or exploring new hobbies. The crucial factor is prioritizing developing your creativity, enabling you to contribute fresh ideas and unique perspectives. Improving your creativity can add significant value to your work, especially in a world where AI plays an increasingly prominent role.
✍️ Attend training and workshops
Numerous employers provide workshops and training programs to assist employees in upskilling. These programs typically teach sought-after skills in the industry. It is beneficial to leverage opportunities to learn new skills and network with other professionals in your field. Attending such programs can enhance your skillset and prepare you for future career growth. So, networking can enable you to learn from experienced professionals, acquire industry insights, and expand your professional connections. By capitalizing on these resources, you can advance your career and stay competitive in a constantly evolving market.
🧘 Develop a growth mindset
Finally, cultivating a growth mindset is crucial. It entails embracing challenges, being receptive to learning new concepts, taking risks, and making mistakes to learn and develop new skills. By fostering a growth mindset, you can approach upskilling as an opportunity for personal and professional development rather than a tedious task. A growth mindset encourages continuous learning, experimentation, and adaptation, improving problem-solving skills and better decision-making. It also lets you view setbacks as learning opportunities and motivates you to persevere in facing challenges. Overall, developing a growth mindset can help you achieve long-term success and fulfillment in both your personal and professional life.
How your company can support AI upskilling
The steps to upskilling for AI may seem easier said than done. But if you have a supportive company culture that encourages growth and learning, it may help you along the journey. For instance, a company that promotes a learning culture can encourage you to take courses, attend conferences, or participate in training programs that focus on AI and related skills. It can also provide you with mentorship opportunities to learn from experienced professionals and foster cross-functional collaboration to gain insights into different perspectives.
In addition, a company that fosters a culture of creativity can provide you with opportunities to explore new hobbies or interests that can help you develop your creativity. It can also provide you with a work environment that encourages experimentation and allows you to try out new ideas and approaches.
A company that values soft skills can offer training programs or coaching opportunities to help you develop skills such as communication, problem-solving, and emotional intelligence. It can also provide opportunities for team-building activities that promote collaboration and encourage you to work effectively with others.
Finally, a company that promotes a growth mindset culture can encourage you to take risks, make mistakes, and learn from failures. It can provide you with opportunities for feedback and recognition, and it can reward you for taking on new challenges or acquiring new skills.
By working together with your employer, you can establish a mutually beneficial relationship that helps you achieve your goals while simultaneously benefiting your organization.
Robots aren't here to diminish the value of your work. Rather, they provide a helping hand to enhance the quality of your output. However, to harness the full potential of AI, it's imperative that we upskill ourselves and find ways to adapt to the changing landscape. We need to embrace a growth mindset, remain agile, and constantly seek out new knowledge and skills to stay relevant and competitive in the industry. By upskilling, we can work seamlessly with AI, leveraging its capabilities to drive innovation, enhance productivity, and ultimately achieve greater success.