Skills That Will Make You Immune to Automation: Future Proof Your Career

Labor economists have known for about 80 years, that anything that involves a pattern or a process or repeatable actions, anything that can just be done in the same way over and over again, will eventually be automated by technology

  • An ATM allows you to withdraw money from an account without having to visit a bank counter.
  • Kiosks in airports allow you to print boarding passes without an employee being present at the ticket counter.
  • Self-checkout kiosks allow you to buy food without a clerk present

Do You Know How to Use the Internet?

skills hat make you immune to automation
Photographer: LinkedIn Sales Solutions | Source: Unsplash
  • The confluence of the Web browser and online processing of credit card payments made electronic commerce possible.
  • The confluence of mobile devices and location tracking has made Uber, Doordash, and other billion-dollar ideas possible.

Short-Term Marketability Leads to Long-Term Obsolescence Without Skills That Make You Immune to Automation

skills hat make you immune to automation
Photographer: Mika Baumeister | Source: Unsplash
  • By the time a freshman graduates with a computer science degree, everything he learns is obsolete because the world is changing so fast.
  • When I was a student at Berkeley, I thought it was ridiculous that most of my friends with computer science degrees didn’t even know how to build a website when they graduated.
  • Berkeley is one of the few universities in the country where students learn an outdated programming language called LISP in their first computer science class. LISP has almost no practical application.
  • He turned a 5-hour task into a 5-minute task, unintentionally eliminating someone’s job.
  • But he was also smart enough to realize that he had developed a skill that would lead to his downfall if he did not apply it to something else.
  • He built a business helping companies automate boring and repetitive tasks, and chances are those companies laid off a lot of people.

3 Groups of People Who Thrive in the New Economy

skills hat make you immune to automation
Photographer: Vlad Busuioc | Source: Unsplash
  • People Who Can Work With Intelligent Machines: You can use technology to entertain and distract yourself. Or you can use it to educate yourself and become a person who makes things. The latter not only makes you more likely to succeed but creating is More Fulfilling than consuming. The question you need to ask yourself when you come across a new technology is: What could I make with this tool?
  • Superstars: people who are successful and commit to excellence. They become exceptional at one thing, not average at dozens of things. As technology automates work, the market eliminates mediocre people, displaces the average, and empowers the exceptional. In other words, do not settle for mediocrity or the market will punish you.
  • Owners: if you have access to capital, you can use it to build something, help others build something, and share in the profits. You can drive success with labor or capital. And the right kind of work will generate capital to fund other parts of your career with capital. For example, if you start a business, it gets bought out, and you now have money to invest what you have earned in other businesses.

Uniquely Human Skills That Make You Immune to Automation

1. Critical Thinking

Photographer: Roman Bilik 💙💛 | Source: Unsplash

2. Creativity

skills hat make you immune to automation
Photographer: Dragos Gontariu | Source: Unsplash
  • Curiosity frees you from being tied to results and gives you the freedom to follow your creativity wherever it wants to flow.
  • Your brain has a power of imagination, invention, innovation, and creation that is no match for the machine. AI tools for creative work rely on human input.

3. Communication

Photographer: Jason Goodman | Source: Unsplash

4. Collaboration

Photographer: Merakist | Source: UnsplashPhotographer: Merakist | Source: Unsplash
  • Creative collaboration fills knowledge gaps
  • Social interactions facilitate intelligent thinking
  • I can’t draw a stick figure, but our brand is very visual because we work with a design team that can execute anything we can describe. And when we need a piece of work that stands out in a sea of noise, the only person we contact is Mars Dorian
  • Even though I conduct the interviews for Unmistakable Creative, they’re edited and published by my sound engineer.

5. Organization

Photographer: Kaleidico | Source: Unsplash
  • Bad organizational habits are a bottleneck to execution. When people have poor organizational habits, they become distracted, overwhelmed, ineffective, and unproductive.
  • Building a second brain is the easiest and most effective way to develop good organizational habits.
  • When you build a second brain, you can turn knowledge into action, complete your projects, implement your ideas, and create at the speed of thought.
  • You need to develop systems, processes and procedures that reduce the time you spend managing the systems that manage your information and increase the time you spend using that information.



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Srinivas Rao

Candidate Conversations with Insanely Interesting People: Listen to the @Unmistakable Creative podcast in iTunes