Predictions vary about how many jobs will be taken over by robots but it is hard to ignore the pace of change. Already in the futuristic Henn-na Hotel in Japan, robotic staff run 90% of the hotel, with only 10 humans employed. Inevitably anything that can be turned into a predictable, repeatable process will be able to be done by a machine or robot.
It is important to recognise that jobs have regularly been replaced by machines – think of advances in farming or clothes manufacturing – however jobs have always evolved. What is critical is to ensure that you have key skills that will be needed throughout your career, regardless of how quickly our society progresses.
Here are the three skills that are not going to go out of fashion any time soon and will benefit you in almost any job you do.
Being able to write well is more important than ever – just think about how many messages you receive daily. How often do you read a twenty line email that could have been written in four lines? Quite soon you will be getting the TLDR (Too Long, Didn't Read) response that is now being used by teenagers. Writing well means that you are a clear communicator and will be able to influence others in the workplace.
While regularly quoted as the number one public fear, delivering effective presentations is a skill that is only going to become more important. Employees want someone to communicate the information they need in an educated and hopefully entertaining way. Make your slides as readable and relevant as possible. You shouldn't just read through all your slides – have additional information and ancedotes that will make your presentation much more memorable. Remember that practice makes perfect.
With quicker decisions needed and excessive data, synthesising information is also a vital skill. This should also involve critically assessing what is relevant and executing based on this. There is no point creating dashboards and analytics reports if you are not taking actions and decisions based on these.
Remember that the biggest advantage you can have in your career is doing something you love. When you are in this zone, time flies by, you research and read up on things because you want to and not because you have to. While the jobs you do will evolve through technology, we will always want to listen to a person who is passionate about what they do and not the robot replacement.