Smart machines: the shortest horror story ever for the modern workforce. You try to convince yourself that living in a world of accelerating change is good, but all your good intentions go out of the window and your willingness to embrace change evaporates when you consider that you might actually lose your job to an automaton in the next decade. You can put your fears to rest, however; author Ira Wolfeassures us that being human is still relevant, and will remain important in the future.
In his recent book Recruiting in the Age of Googlization, he discusses the complexities of a VUCA world –a world shaped by Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity- and suggests that to overcome the challenges AI poses to employment opportunities we need to re-adjust our mindset and start perceiving the world of work in terms of VUCA Prime - Vision, Understanding, Clarity, and Agility. Wolfe also emphasizes the significance of developing a “growth mindset” which can form the foundation of the six survival skills people will need to make it through in a world of increasing automation. These are the skills that can cut ice and determine whether you will keep your job or not:
- Curiosity: Intelligence does not magically fall into one’s lap. It is fostered and cultivated through a curious outlook to life; for, it is curiosity that compounds knowledge and leads to growth.
- Creativity: To stay on top of the avalanche of change you will have to provide an alternative perspective to the world. Can you draw connections between bits of information that are seemingly disparate? Then, you have what it takes.
- Conscientiousness: Machines have it, so the least you can do is have it yourself. If you feel you are lacking in this respect, then you had better do your utmost to develop meticulous thinking.
- Critical thinking: This entails analytical and evaluation skills as well as autonomy in devising and implementing solutions to real-world problems.
- Collaboration: You cannot remain afloat on your own. Thankfully, working with others is a skill that machines have not mastered yet, so being human offers a definite advantage.
- Agility: In this VUCA world, you will need to be a fast, adaptable and future-oriented thinker. You must also be able to re-configure your strategy in the face of unpredictable disruption.