How to future proof your career from AI

With artificial intelligence (AI) and technology slowly taking over our working lives, how do YOU stay one step ahead of the rat race?

Research by McKinsey in 2017 suggested that by 2030, approximately 14% of the global workforce may need to change careers due to disruption from AI and related technologies, so there’s no time like the present to consider what you should be doing to future-proof yourself.

However, it’s not all bad news.

Further research by Altaassian has shown that 76% of workers believe that at least “some” or “half” of their job can be performed by a robot, algorithm, or AI tool - so there’s another half that’s down to you!

And furthermore, there are some aspects that AI just isn’t great at.

Firstly, working with other people. Jobs that need to be done in a face-to-face manner that require lots of human interactions, such as nursing, are bound to continue to exist.

Secondly, problem-solving and brainstorming. They might be able to compute outcomes, but they don’t know what the right questions to ask are and how to go about solving issues that will continue to arise.

Thirdly, unpredictable situations.

AI works well because we humans have designed rules and spaces in which it can thrive. When it’s not in those situations, for example in an unpredictable one with many variables, technology will struggle and humans have to come along and get stuff done!

So with this in mind, how can you future-proof your career and make sure that there are opportunities for you in the years ahead?

Here are five ways you can future-proof your career:

1. Work with the technology

Rather than fighting it, work with the technology and embrace it. Find out what software your industry should be using to move forward and set aside some time to learn it.

Your company may not have new technology in place, but if you can see how it will save them time and money and offer you the ability to expand your role in other, more beneficial ways, they may just come round to your idea.

You’ll be able to teach others about the new processes and systems that need to be used, which will help your career move forward and create a position of authority for you. You can then take your expertise with you when you leave.

2. Do what the machines can’t

Remember that technology can’t do everything.

Consider what parts of your role a robot couldn't take over. Is it the big picture thinking and insight that you have? Is it the ability to communicate well with others, take the lead and manage a team? 

If you have a number of skills that AI can’t tap into, take on projects and roles that develop and harness these skills. You’ll have the right experience to move up the career ladder, and once again be an asset to anyone who employs you.

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3. Diversify your skillset

Having a large number of different expertise is another great way to future proof your career.

For one thing, it offers you the ability to work your way towards a new career much more easily if you really do have to pivot.

It also helps develop your problem-solving skills, as the best way to solve a problem is to use the knowledge you’ve learnt elsewhere and apply it to the new problem at hand. 

4. Always be learning

There’s so much out there you could know and the more you know the more you’ll be ahead of the curve.

Read a book. Listen to a podcast. Take an online course.

The world is your oyster!

5. Develop your emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is your ability to recognise, use, understand, manage and handle emotions.

Having a high emotional intelligence can do wonders for your career, with 71% of employers valuing EQ over IQ and is linked to the 21st-century skills of communication, collaboration, problem-solving and leadership that we need in the workplace as defined by the OECD.

Find out more about how you can develop your emotional intelligence: How to increase your EQ at work.

So that's it.


1. Work with the technology.

2. Do what the machines can't.

3. Diversify your skillset.

4. Always be learning.

5. Develop your emotional intelligence.

How are you going to future-proof your career?

Image Credit for title: Andre De Santis, via free Unsplash License