This post was written by Kate Barry ’20. Connect with her on LinkedIn.
How do you stay competitive in a job market that is becoming increasingly more automated? This is a question on many people’s minds in all areas of the workforce today. Tiger Tyagarjan attempts to answer this daunting question in his article from the Harvard Business Review, “To Prepare for Automation, Stay Curious and Don’t Stop Learning.” Tyagarajan cites a number of possibilities for workers to stay ahead of the curve when faced with an increasing automated workforce, a concept we have talked about in depth in our Sustainable Brand Marketing class this module.
When first faced with the uncertainty of job security in the future, one may have a knee-jerk reaction to fight against the development of artificial intelligence, or maybe try to out-smart it, by developing more highly-technical skills. Both of these options, I believe, will eventually be losing battles as technological advancement will roar on whether or not we are fully ready for it. Perhaps, as Tyagarjan suggests in his piece, instead of fighting the advancement of artificial intelligence, humans can differentiate themselves by embracing their “humanness” through the development of soft skills.
Soft skills are the tools someone uses to interact with others in an effective manner, a concept entirely dependent on self-awareness. They include one’s emotional intelligence, their level of empathy, ability to work in a team, etc. These are the skills that will differentiate humans from artificial intelligence in the workforce moving forward.
Thus far in The Sustainable Innovation MBA program, there has been a large emphasis on the development of soft-skills between our Teamwork for Sustained Innovation class, The Leadership Seminar, and copious amounts of group work. Some of the hesitation in regard to entering into a non-traditional MBA is the larger mix of skills learned beyond the traditional aspects of a business education. While I have gained a great deal of value and personal development through our work so far, it’s hard to know what the business world is looking for when hiring. It is reassuring to see that the business community values the importance of soft skills, and their many applications in the workplace.
So, how do you stay competitive in a job market that is constantly becoming more automated? Lean into your humanness, strengthen your self and other-awareness, and in the words of Joe Fusco, “have a love affair with the truth.”