The 4 Skills You Need to Survive Automation

Feb 11, 2020

It is undeniable that the rise of technology is transforming the economy. An increasing number of jobs are being automated or set up to be worked from remotely, which means potential employees are competing with candidates from a worldwide pool. Is your job safe? Well, it depends on what you do and what skills you focus on developing. If you are a rocket scientist or a professional athlete, move on to another article, you are not likely to become automated (yet). Otherwise, “please remain on the line.”

The good news is that there are certain skills that are uniquely human and which computers still haven’t figured out how to emulate exactly. Here are 4 skills which will help you stand out and thrive in an age of automation:


Four Human Skills for the New Economy


  • Creativity

This is the reason rocket scientists (and other researchers) and professional athletes (and other entertainers) should not be worried about their jobs being automated. The creation of new ideas is human business. While technology aids in the area of creative design, the world always needs more creators.

Creativity is a strength you can bring to any industry. If you are a curious, deeply dedicated person, you will probably come up with new ways to do things. And managers love this! That’s why job interview questions sound like this: “What major problem have you solved at work?” or “When have you taken the initiative at work?”

The secret to creativity is being passionate about what you do and curious to learn everything. The more you know, the more you’ll create.


  • Emotional Intelligence and People Management

Robots might type faster, learn better, remember everything that ever happened and never get overwhelmed without a coffee break, but they just can’t seem to sympathize with humans. While we love inputting a hard equation into a calculator that would have otherwise taken us pen, paper, headache, and self-doubt to solve, most of our needs are less straight-forward.

Sometimes we don’t know what we want, just that we need it. This is why emotional intelligence is extremely important to drive a business’s sales, content, and marketing. Jobs based on human connection can’t be automated. Basically, the more clients need to look you in the eye, the safer your job is from being automated. I’m thinking of teachers, motivational speakers, coaches, nurses, and other jobs that require charisma, empathy, and resiliency.

But wait! If you work behind a desk, you need emotional intelligence too. If you are a boss or manager, your employees are looking at you. And you need self-awareness and relationship-management skills to motivate them. If you think about it, most job interview questions focus on emotional intelligence. “How do you deal with change?” “What motivates you?” “What are your strengths and weaknesses” “How do you work as part of a team?”

The good news is that emotional intelligence can be learned with self-awareness and mindfulness.


  • Judgement, Decision-Making, and Negotiations

These are the owners and leaders of the world. Their job is to establish a network of connections, get the big sales, make plans, take risks, and get everyone organized to perform at high-levels of productivity to work towards tight deadlines and big goals. It is not easy being in charge. You need stamina, a goal-oriented mindset, and a clear head. Technology can help, but you can’t Google your way through some decisions.

If you have good judgement, decision-making, and negotiating skills, you’ll be in high demand. Leaders are always needed to move forward. They are the ones who embody the mission and vision of organizations and, therefore, need to have a strong moral compass. More than ever before, organizations are looking for leaders who recognize and embrace great moral dilemmas. To develop these skills, you most likely need to rise through the ranks of your field or industry. If you love your work, you are on the way; to produce groundbreaking work, practice setting goals and achieving them. Do not let yourself be deterred or distracted.


  • Technology Management

Perhaps this is stating the obvious, but the rise in automation brings forth the rise in jobs for people skilled in technology. Machines need developers and people to control them, so if you can work well and creatively with machines, you have a unique advantage. Keep learning, inventing, and modernizing. And be sure everyone knows about your technology abilities; they are in high demand.


As coach, I feel excited for the future. My mission is to empower people to become better leaders by increasing their emotional intelligence and elevating their unique human abilities. As you think about how your job will change with automation, I encourage you to embrace the future and prepare for it by working on yourself and the incredible human skills mentioned above.



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