A not-to-be-overlooked percentage of today’s workers subscribe to the dystopian view that artificial intelligence (AI) will threaten their job security. Indeed research by McKinsey has revealed that, by 2030, approximately 14% of the global workforce may need to change occupations due to rampant advances in AI and related technologies.
Yet what advocates of the dystopian view overlook is the fact that AI will also create jobs. According to research by the World Economic Forum, advancements in AI and related technologies in the workplace have the potential to create 133 million new jobs (far exceeding the 75 million jobs that could be displaced). Regardless of what industry you are in, some part of your job will be impacted by AI. As PwC has acknowledged, “no sector or business is in any way immune from the impact of AI”.
The emergence and—in a not-too-distant future—infiltration of AI in the workplace shouldn’t necessarily spell despair. Instead, it should signal opportunity. The extent to which you will be replaced by AI is entirely at your discretion. By being proactive you can future-proof yourself against AI.
Leverage AI advancements to automate routine work
Today’s workplace is rife with inefficiency. From searching for information to duplicating work to manual data entry, workers squander hours each day on unproductive tasks. Already, AI advancements are moving waters in terms of helping workers automate the repetitive and mundane tasks that consume much of their days.
Forward-thinking workers intent on future-proofing themselves against AI are embracing AI tools that minimize routine and mundane work. It’s definitely not too early to take advantage of AI. Research by Altaassian has revealed that 76% of workers believe that at least “some” or “half” of their job can be performed by a robot, algorithm, or AI tool.
One of the most promising applications of AI is removing the inefficiencies associated with email. Research has shown that excessive emails represent the second most prevalent impediments to workplace productivity (behind wasteful meetings). Several AI-powered tools can prevent email overload. Trove, for example, leverages AI to learn how you communicate with your various email contacts. By analyzing each relationship, Trove offers tips on how to manage email from each contact. It’s Gmail’s Smart Compose on steroids.
Take note of all the inefficiencies in your workday. By investigating which already-existing AI tools can help automate your work, you can ensure you’re able to focus your time on developing the skills that can’t be readily supplanted by AI.
Develop your emotional intelligence
While artificial intelligence has come a long way in replicating human IQ, it’s still in its infancy in replicating human emotional intelligence (EQ). AI tools continue to suffer from biases and have yet to cogently express human-like emotions.
In order to thrive in the AI-era, workers should prioritize EQ. As Harvard Business Review (HBR) explains, “Those that want to stay relevant in their professions will need to focus on skills and capabilities that artificial intelligence has trouble replicating — understanding, motivating, and interacting with human beings.”
Fortunately, research has proven that EQ can be learned. To start, make a practice observing how you feel. Set specific check-in times throughout the day. Keep a journal and record how you feel. Try to name your emotions. This will make them more concrete and, in turn, enable you to more effectively control them.
Develop a growth mindset
In her book Mindset, Carol Dweck, demonstrates that success in various walks of life—ranging from work to athletics— can be significantly influenced by one’s mindset. In particular, she defines two types of mindsets. Individuals with a fixed mindset believe that their intelligence and abilities are fixed. In contrast, individuals who subscribe to a growth mindset believe that their intelligence and abilities can be honed with effort and motivation.
Accenture has identified a growth mindset as “one of the 10 intelligences that will gain prominence in the AI workplace.” Why is a growth mindset especially important in an AI era? Because one’s mindset has a particularly demonstrable impact during times of change. Individuals who exhibit a fixed mindset are more likely to have adverse responses to the change spurred by AI. They are more likely to see AI as a threat and lack the confidence or conviction to develop and improve their skills so as to resist the likelihood that they’ll be replaced by AI. On the flip side, individuals with a growth mindset are much more likely to adapt to change. They’ll see the change spurred by AI as an opportunity to develop their skills and will be more confident in their abilities to adapt.
87% of workers think that AI will change their job by 2020. It’s futile to resist the change. By embracing currently-existing AI tools to automate routine work, developing emotional intelligence, and embracing a growth mindset, you’ll be primed to thrive in the coming years.