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How is AI reshaping the job market? What critical human kills will help workers and leaders thrive in the AI era—and how can you acquire them?

AI is rapidly reshaping job markets, impacting roles across sectors while creating demand for an AI-savvy workforce. Human skills such as emotional intelligence and the ability to lead, navigate ethical considerations, and collaborate effectively with AI will become increasingly valuable in the AI era. 

Here’s why embracing AI and human skills will be necessary for the future workforce.

Don’t Get Left Behind at Work

Artificial intelligence is reshaping the employment landscape, influencing roles across various sectors and generating a growing demand for AI-savvy workers. Rather than fearing it, embracing AI and honing your uniquely human skills could open doors to career opportunities in the AI era.

AI Isn’t Going Away

Industries including technology, finance, health care, manufacturing, and retail are feeling AI’s impact, stirring fears about automation-related job losses while also generating demand for an AI-savvy workforce. 

Experts say that automation will influence certain jobs more than others: A recent LinkedIn study found that AI will most significantly impact the following five roles:

  1. Software engineer: 96% 
  2. Customer service representative: 76%
  3. Salesperson: 59%
  4. Cashier: 59%
  5. Teacher: 45%

However, the shift toward AI isn’t all doom and gloom. Many human skills will grow more critical in the years ahead. 

Crucial Skills in the AI Era

Experts say that as AI technology advances, four categories of human skills will gain significance:

1. Emotional intelligence and well-being. AI currently lacks proficiency in the following skills:

2. Leadership and people management. Skills that highlight the human talent of rallying teams, inspiring worker loyalty, making strategic decisions, and fueling innovative solutions—competencies currently beyond AI’s grasp—include:

  • Managing people. While AI can assist with tasks like résumé sorting and deadline assigning, it can’t lead or motivate people.
  • Strategic thinking. AI can automate marketing practices to make them more efficient, but creating effective strategies to drive business growth remains a human task that it can’t replicate.
  • Critical thinking. AI currently lacks the human ability to make thoughtful, strategic decisions based on sound judgment.
  • Creativity. AI, as currently programmed, can’t replicate the spontaneous, inspired imagination that drives innovation.

3. Analytical thinking and ethical decision-making. Skills emphasizing the human ability to process complex data, make objective decisions, and assess ethical considerations while using AI tools include: 

  • Data literacy and storytelling. Employees who can not only understand and discern patterns in complex data but can also turn those insights into compelling narratives will more successfully transform AI-derived data into actionable decisions.
  • Active problem-solving. Workers who can quickly make proactive and informed decisions will be in greater demand given AI’s ability to rapidly simulate and evaluate solutions. 
  • Objectivity. Individuals capable of recognizing the inherent bias in AI tools and using that knowledge to determine appropriate solutions will improve decision-making.
  • Navigating ethical considerations and regulations. As AI increasingly impacts decision-making, employees adept in understanding ethical implications and regulatory landscapes will have an edge.

4. AI interaction and communication. Skills that enable workers to leverage AI’s capabilities will be crucial, and include:

  • Human-AI collaboration. Workers who effectively integrate AI into their daily tasks and capitalize on its benefits will thrive.
  • Ability to write strong prompts. Writing clear, specific, creative prompts can greatly improve the quality of information that generative AI tools like ChatGPT produce.

How Employers Can Manage Workers’ Anxiety

Experts say that employers who adopt AI in their operations can mitigate burnout and improve organizational performance by addressing workers’ fear of the unknown:

How Workers Can Manage Their AI Anxiety

Experts say it’s natural for uncertainty around AI to provoke anxiety, but too much of it can compromise functioning. To address AI-related work worries, employees should:

  • Stay grounded in reality. Researchers say that both workers who have lost jobs to AI and those who haven’t overstate the pace and volume of the technology taking over
    • In a study with 14% of workers reporting AI-related job loss, displaced workers overestimated AI’s impact by threefold; those not displaced by twofold.
  • Educate yourself about AI. The more you know about technology the better positioned you’ll be to leverage it professionally and progress alongside emerging developments.
  • Build solidarity. Share experiences and resources with colleagues to gain perspective, feel less isolated, and combat overwhelm.
  • Remember that humans have always adapted to industry disruptions. Technological change, while unsettling, has always been central to society’s advancement. And, many of the most dire predictions about past technological advancements didn’t materialize
  • Step away from technology. To avoid getting consumed by the AI doom void, connect with loved ones, nature, and creative pursuits.

Looking Ahead

As the AI era continues to unfold, experts urge workers and leaders seeking enhance their soft and technical AI skills to jump in and embrace practical, hands-on experience—trial-and-error is often the best teacher:

  • Explore online courses. A growing number of companies like Microsoft, IBM, and Google provide comprehensive, accessible resources for a wide range of learners, some for free. Platforms like Coursera, Udemy, and LinkedIn Learning also offer courses on communication, leadership, and conflict resolution.
  • Consider structured training. Individuals looking to boost their résumés could look into programs that lead to certification.
How to Embrace AI & Hone Your Human Skills at Work

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Hannah Aster

Hannah graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English and double minors in Professional Writing and Creative Writing. She grew up reading books like Harry Potter and His Dark Materials and has always carried a passion for fiction. However, Hannah transitioned to non-fiction writing when she started her travel website in 2018 and now enjoys sharing travel guides and trying to inspire others to see the world.

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