How to make yourself irreplaceable in the evolving AI workforce

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is advancing at an exponential rate and according to the influential 2015 report by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA), 40 per cent of professional roles will no longer be relevant in 10 to 20 years . Whether this prediction comes into effect or not, an issue that is top of mind for many is how advancing technology such as Artificial Intelligence will impact the workforce.

A key element in protecting your profession or job is focusing on the human element within your operation that a computer, no matter how advanced, simply cannot replace. Here are five key tips on how to future proof yourself to ensure you are irreplaceable in the workforce.

1. Brand yourself

Human work will never be fully replaced by technology. Instead, it will force employees to work in different ways. Where humans once stood at the forefront, technological changes could see us working alongside or behind the technology instead; controlling and monitoring it. As a result, it will become even more crucial for individuals to stand out. In other words, amplifying personal attributes, qualities and skills that individuals can bring to the workplace that no technology will ever be able to replace. It’s now essential to identify your personal image, story and skills to create a unique and professional personal brand. Becoming a thought leader and strengthening your personal brand highlights your value to the workforce.

2. Redefine and improve your skills

With game changing players entering the workforce, being adaptable, a quick learner and having multidisciplinary skills will be a huge asset. Redefining and improving your current skill set will become more important than ever before. The key is to recognise what skills you currently bring to the workforce that AI and technology will not be able to replace. Start by upskilling in personal development areas such as leadership, communication and teamwork; skills that will remain relevant and crucial through all workforce changes.

3. Collaborate

While technology already consumes numerous hours of the day, do not forget the significance of face-to-face communication, networking and collaborating in the workforce. Technology has the ability to hold hundreds and thousands of contacts but it is just that, a phonebook that will never replace the power of personal connections. Engage in these types of interactions to upskill, build connections and create your own black book of contacts. This will add to your personal brand and professional worth.

4. Make your assets digital

Making yourself resilient to the technology advancements in the workforce does not mean becoming anti-technology. Instead, it’s imperative to be active and comfortable with technology platforms to increase your credibility and give you a competitive edge. Take the opportunity to continue building your personal brand through technology. For example, use a website and social media platforms to consistently convey your individual brand and share achievements and examples of your skills. Doing this will further highlight your value proposition to businesses.

5. Create an impression through your appearance

The final step to creating a personal brand is to project it externally through a distinctive style and fashion. It is a known fact that people are more reactive to visual creative expressions. While technology such as robots and AI is extremely impressive, it does not generally get its “wow factor” from its appearance. Ensure your style strengthens your personal brand and exerts confidence and charisma.

Scarlett Vespa, Founder, Mrs V Shift Program and Mrs V Society