12 Jul 2021

Don’t let a Robot Replace You – Learn some Human-Only Skills

We all fear a robot takeover, not in the sense of the Matrix, but more and more automated processes rendering jobs irrelevant or simply making them vanish.

This caution is well-founded. Oxford University researchers Carl Frey and Michael Osborne suggested that millions of office roles will become obsolete, with call centre operatives, office administrators, legal secretaries and bank clerks all "highly likely" to be replaced by computers.

High risk occupations included telephone salespeople (99%); typist (98.5%); legal secretary (97.6%); financial accounts manager (97.6%); weigher, grader, or sorter (also 97.6 %); sales administrator (97%) and book-keeper, payroll manager or wages clerk (also 97%).

If you happen to be working in one of these, it’s a good time to start looking for a career change. And even if you’re not in a “high risk” position, you would do well to be wary of the Rise of the Robots.

Keep yourself relevant by brushing up on the skills only humans have. These include creativity, problem-solving, empathy, caring, negotiation or social intelligence. Learning any of these will be a boon to your job and keep your human self necessary to your workplace.

No robot will be able to fully replace nurses, social workers, psychologists, teachers and therapists, as human interaction and empathy is a crucial part of the job. Designers, artists and engineers are also robot-proof occupations as they require an extremely flexible mindset and lots of imaginations – qualities our robots don’t yet possess.

You could also decide to join them rather than beat them. As we become a Smart(er) Nation, data analytics and IT professionals continue to be in major demand. How about studying software development, cybersecurity or automation? You could be the force behind new and better robots.

Until then, if you feel like a mindless robot at your job, chances are you'll soon be replaced by one. Learn to embrace your humanity – and keep your position as well!