Jul 2021 - Career SPACE Newsletter

Alumni eNews

Don’t want to be replaced by AI? Then start enhancing these 5 Soft Skills.

Enterprises around the globe are accelerating their digitalisation programmes which is leading to all kinds of new workplace practices. A recent report on ‘The future of work after COVID-19’ indicated that as many as 1 out of every 16 employees might have to switch jobs or move to different occupations. Near half of all employees are advised to start learning new professional skills in order to keep their jobs, or even get a job in the first place! Machines will replace more and more jobs in the coming years. But some skills cannot be mastered by AI (at least not yet!). So here are the five skills most in demand by the enterprises.

1. Communication Skills

‘Excellent communication skills and interpersonal skills’ are listed on almost every job ad. And this is something that AI simply isn’t yet capable of - talking to your voice assistance doesn’t count! So acquiring impressive presentation skills, and persuasive negotiation and debating skills, will increase your competitiveness in every professional sector.

Effective communications can greatly increase your working efficiency and help you solve problems quicker. By communicating effectively, you can build good relationships with your supervisors, and encourage improved teamwork and collaboration. The first step is to be able to establish meaningful conversations, and learn how to be a good listener. Listening to people isn’t just about shutting up and paying attention, it’s also about your body language and an engaged response.

2. Social Skills

AI does not know why building a good social network is a good idea. But for humans aiming to get ahead, joining different networking events and getting to know people from different industries, is among the most useful activities you can do for your career. You can even try introducing yourself to senior management at the annual company dinner. For ideas, you can check our conversation starter cheat sheet, but If you want to learn how to start a conversation and catch people’s attentions with just a few sentences, then having a great elevator pitch is a good idea. And don’t forget to look into the DOs and DON’Ts of networking.

3. Creativity and an Innovative Mind

Innovation and creativity aren’t things AI can learn on command, and that’s why you need to develop a creative mind as a core attribute.
Some people insist that creativity is an inherent gift, and can’t be ’learned’. But in fact, creativity and innovation can be massively improved by training and practice. Group brainstorming can be a good way to gather ideas from a group of colleagues, sort, and filter feasible ideas, and make a plan. Brainstorming can also increase our confidence and sense of belonging, not to mention enjoying hugely improved efficiency. Read these 4 techniques on brainstorming, or try to uncover your innovative side.

4. Active Learning

AI still requires programming and a database to function at all. So it is a good idea to develop a habit of learning new things or techniques. Master your self-management skills and regularly review yourself by setting short- and long-term goals, so you won’t be eliminated from the pool of candidates that easily.

5. Problem-Solving Skills

The ability to solve problems, analyse data and think critically are core skills. Not only can they enhance your response to emergencies, they can also help you to process incidents involving human relationships and many other things that AI and computers - at least for now - cannot be programmed to do. Even if AI can help us, the final decision maker is human after all. Try taking the situational judgement test, the critical thinking test and other aptutude tests to learn your strengths.

Regardless of the challenges being set by AI, being a strong believer in lifelong learning is the key to surviving and thriving in the future both socially and in business. Of course, after your hard work, you are more than welcome to reward yourself and motivate your own self to move forward!

If you want to learn more about the impact AI is already having on us, check out what Gary Yeung had to say on the development of smart cities and the countless business opportunities AI is bringing to Hong Kong. Click here now for more!

If you have friends who aren’t students or alumni of HKU SPACE, but would like to explore the useful content in Career SPACE, click here to get a 6-month access Career SPACE account* for them, they’ll be thrilled!

*For students and alumni, your username is your student number. For any enquiry, please email to careerspace@hkuspace.hku.hk.

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