My Future

6 Ways To Build Up Your Skills So Robots Don’t Take Your Job

The robots are coming, you guys. And they want our jobs.

People can’t stop banging on and on about “soft skills” and how they’re “so important” and they’re the key to “a robot not taking over your job and livelihood.” Well, big woop right?

No, small woop. Or, whatever the opposite of big woop is. According to this Foundation For Young Australians report, soft skills, or enterprise skills, are in extremely high demand. In fact, Deloitte reckons soft skills based jobs will account for two thirds of all jobs by 2030. Things like problem solving, creativity, critical thinking and digital literacy are needed, y’all. And they’ll make you rich! FYA’s report notes that those with presentation skills can earn up to eight grand more than people without. That’s not a tiny chunk of change.

Even if you think you’re super confident, or a computer hacker extraordinaire, all of us could serve to brush up on our soft skills a little. Here’s some really simple ways to do so.

#1 Challenge Your Brain

Puzzles are problem solving 101. They improve your endurance, concentration, memory retention and creativity. You can try anything from sudoku to jigsaw puzzles to crosswords; anything that gets your brain ticking a lot harder than it’s used to.

They’re also super relaxing if you’re in need of that sort of thing. Hahaha, just kidding, of course you are.

#2 Try To Stop Saying ‘Like’

If communication skills are something you’d like to improve on, start with how you communicate with people everyday.

Pay attention to the grammar in your text messages, try not to litter your sentences with unnecessary slang and catch yourself out every time you say ‘like’. Best not to tell your dad about this experiment though. He’s very annoyingly been telling you to stop saying ‘like’ for yonks now.

#3 Actively Listen To Everyone

It’s one thing to nod along and agree with whatever the person in front of you is blabbing about, it’s another to be able to actually repeat what they’ve said.

Active listening not only makes you a smarter and more attentive person, it’ll make people like you way, way more. People love to be listened to, and it’ll make you come across as very personable to potential employers. With phones obliterating our attention span every single day, active listening has never been more important.

#4 Do New Things

We’re sorry for suggesting something that you’ll more than likely hate. Going outside and doing things? YEUCH.

But you know who doesn’t shy away from trying new things? Robots. Because they’re programmed to do pretty much everything. And they’re your new competition.

Your new thing doesn’t have to be big. It could be as simple as joining a boot camp or music class. Toastmasters is great to build your public speaking and presentation skills, improv is excellent for quick problem solving and confidence. Even if taking up a hobby like pottery or painting seems completely unrelated to your job prospects, meeting new people is a perfect way to boost your confidence and communication skills.

Stay social, build your networks and establish a life outside of your Netflix* stream. (*Netflix is a robot too, you know.)

#5 Build Your Own Website

There’s a lot of factors involved with building your own website that’ll really sharpen your technical skills, even if only in a very basic way.

You can start from a website building platform like Squarespace or WordPress and customise it using Canva, giving you very baseline blogging and graphic design skills. Hell, take it a step further by downloading photoshop and teaching yourself how to put meme glasses on dogs.

#6 Read A Book

Any and all books are good. Reading builds your analytical, creative and comprehension skills and also, if you get a great read, it’s a heck of a lot of fun.

Josephine is a human and not a robot. She swears. She never tweets @josieannparsons.

(Lead image: iRobot/Davis Entertainment)