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9 skills that will save you from Automation


Do you have a risk of losing your job because of Automation?

If you deeply analyze, skills could be broadly classified into 2 types,

  • One, in which the task being regularly done is repetitive, process-oriented,
  • Another one is, in which the tasks being regularly done uses human intellect and abilities to add value to the overall outcome of the task.

Do an introspection to do a careful analysis of what kind of skills are being used at your job. If you see the majority of tasks being done is repetitive and process-oriented then you are at the risk of losing your job to so-called BOTS (automated applications to replace human work).


Automation at its best

When I first heard about Automation, Automatic Washing machines came to my mind that washes clothes automatically without much human intervention other than Home Automation, Automation system. Hope you don’t find the example weird but all I want to explain is when you are doing the same tasks time and again, machines can be programmed to do the same tasks daily and with better efficiency, it can replace you.

Let’s consider, Chatbots, that cannot be human, but they can think and respond to queries like humans do. This is happening in a medium (text messages) which is emerging as the next big platform for information exchange after voice. With advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) capabilities, machine learning code can now understand queries just like humans do. More importantly, the code learns from every interaction that it does and grows its skills to handle further conversations! Think of it — isn’t that exactly what a humans do? Because of this, Chatbots are gaining popularity and also killing jobs. This is just one example but Automation is penetrating other domains and industries as well.


Impact on employment

From a study, ‘Future of Jobs’ report, the biggest employment decline of any job family is expected in Office and Administrative roles, which are expected to be negatively affected by a perfect storm of technological trends that have the potential to make many of them redundant, such as mobile internet and cloud technology, Big Data analytics and the Internet of Things, but also factors such as climate change and resource efficiency and workplace flexibility that undermine the rationale for maintaining a large workforce within these roles.

Automation of checkout processes and smart inventory management through sensors and other applications of the Internet of Things are some of the factors expected to lead to a decrease in demand for traditional roles in the Sales and Related job family.

Consumer ethics and green consumption practices are likewise anticipated to impact negatively on traditional roles in the job family, though perhaps with an upside for employees with skills in accrediting and advising on eco-labeled products.

The strongest employment growth in the sector is expected to come from a continued shift towards online shopping and the application of Big Data analytics to derive and act upon insights from customer data and preferences to provide a personalized shopping experience. [Source: Future of Jobs report]


Get ready with these Skills

So, here come the skills that would help you plan better before Automation arrives at your workplace.

  1. Social Skills: A social skill is any skill facilitating interaction and communication with others. Social rules and relations are created, communicated, and changed in verbal and nonverbal ways. Coordinating with others, Emotional intelligence, Negotiation, Persuasion, Service Orientation, Training and teaching others
  2. Cognitive Abilities: Cognitive Flexibility, Creativity, Logical Reasoning, Problem Sensitivity, Mathematical Reasoning, Visualization. They have more to do with the mechanisms of how we learn, remember, problem-solve, and pay attention, rather than with any actual knowledge.
  3. Content Skills: Active Learning, Oral Expressions, Reading Comprehension, Written Expression, ICT literacy
  4. Resource management Skills: In organizational studies, resource management is the efficient and effective development of an organization’s resources when they are needed. Management of Financial Resources, Management of material resources, People Management, Time Management
  5. Systems skills: Judgment and decision making, Systems Analysis, Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes. Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
  6. Process Skills: Active Listening, Critical Thinking, Monitoring self and others, observing, communicating, comparing, ordering, categorizing, relating, inferring
  7. Technical Skills: Equipment Maintenance and repair, Equipment operation and control, Programming, Quality Control, Technology and User Experience design, Troubleshooting
  8. Complex Problem-Solving Skills: Solving complex problems
  9. Physical Abilities: Physical Strength, Manual Dexterity, and precision

It is the time to assess your skills and work towards RESKILLING. This is the only solution to save you from the threat of Automation. You should also assess other roles that you would like to get in and granularly dissect every activity involved in assessing its longevity.


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Telecom professional with 10 years of experience in Telecommunication and ICT Industry. Lead a M2M integrated Fiber to the Home (FTTH) network rollout to 200,000 homes in Delhi/NCR, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai. Fiber to the Home (FTTH) Technology trainer with a deeper level of understanding to architect, build, operate, commission and maintain large telecom network designed for both IP based and RF based Telco/Non-Telco services. Training and Development initiatives within the organization. Technology Leader in building and managing Fiber to the Home Network for Next Generation services, Cable TV and DTH video services. Entrepreneurial experience of 6.5 years in building up Team (150 member), Processes (Designing, Planning, Implementation, Operation, NOC, Network Management), Central Office Infrastructure (17 in no.), and Network (2,00,000 Home Pass). Effective and positive team player known for contributing effective solutions as well as technical ability. Able to give and embrace constructive criticism while working in a team environment towards a common goal. Effective listener/communicator and fast diligent result-oriented learner. Self-Motivated and highly productive worker under pressure.

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