Five things you need to do to have a successful career in an AI world

Worried about how AI will impact your career prospects? Discover five things you need to do to future proof your career in an AI world.

There are countless paths to work for women, whether they are at the start of their career, switching careers or coming back to work after taking time out. However, the rapid developments in artificial intelligence (AI) are something new that everyone is contending with.  

According to research by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), 32% of adults in work fear that AI like ChatGPT might put their jobs at risk. People in administrative and secretarial roles (43%) and sales and customer service jobs (41%) are particularly concerned that AI could take over.

So what can you do to protect your job security? Looking ahead to what the careers of the future will be, no matter what interests you, cultivating a diverse skillset will be hugely valuable. We’re moving into an uncertain future, so as we look at the skills to develop, it’s about giving yourself as many options as possible. If you do ever come to a crossroads, you’ll be more likely to have the tools to embrace the challenge.  

With this in mind, read on for my live suggestions on things you can do to have a successful career in the AI era.

1) Understand your passions  

Even if you don’t want to specialise, start with what you’re passionate about and consider what you uniquely have to offer. I recently spoke with Gee Foottit on The Switch, a podcast series hosted by the St James’s Place Financial Adviser Academy about how I’ve personally been driven by creativity and my passion for storytelling.

It’s the golden thread that’s been consistent throughout my career, having worked in writing, publishing, consulting and now running a brand and communications agency. 

2) Walk through the doors that open to you  

When I started at university, I had no set plan. I didn’t know that I would end up practising more than one profession across the course of my career – and I would describe myself as a career opportunist and a bit of a neophile! I’m an experience magpie and when opportunities open to me, I tend to say yes. Hard work opens doors for you, but to get the most out of work, and life, you need to walk through them.  

One of my heroes, David Bowie, said you should always go a little bit further out into the water than you think you’re capable of being – and when your feet no longer touch the bottom, that’s where the exciting stuff happens. For me, when I get the feeling of being slightly out of my depth is when I know I’m on the right course.   

3) Make it personal 

From a personal brand perspective, again considering the influence of AI – I believe that people will continue to trust real people rather than machines (!), or even organisations, so putting yourself and your personality at the forefront can be powerful.

There are ways you can do this that suit your personal style. For example, if you like public speaking, find events and platforms where you can showcase your point-of-view. If you enjoy writing, put out some blog content.  

It makes sense to start with analysing your skill set and the stories you can share about yourself. And it’s a good idea to bring into this what you like to do in your personal life, alongside your professional interests.

For instance, I’m a trail runner. When discussing this with our clients, we can talk about that and it makes me more memorable. It’s also enjoyable to talk about what you love within a business context. It can give you confidence, especially if you’re new to a career or industry. If you’re talking about something you’re passionate about, you’re creating a safe space in which to shine, and build trust.     

4) Be a stickler for high quality 

Whatever you do, do it well. One of the key issues with AI is that it can’t yet be relied upon for accuracy, or excellent results. Delivering well-proofed, well-researched and well-planned work will always set you apart.

It’s the foundation of my agency, Rationale, that we produce good, high quality, relevant work. Throughout my career, before I ran my own business, my commitment to this aim impressed my managers, which led to progression, and ultimately led me to what I do now.  

Being reliable and producing high quality work will be essential as we move into the age of AI. Be creative, think laterally, and always deliver on what you promise – because then people will recommend you. Recommendations are fundamental to career growth and progression, and even more important for entrepreneurs. 

5) Learn from your mistakes 

Personally, I like taking risks! Sometimes they pay off, sometimes they don’t. I enjoy living on the edge slightly, taking a punt at things and learning from my mistakes. I like to try new things. Sometimes pathologically so, as my business partner would tell you!   

As human beings, we hold a lot of fear about making a change. We think of the reasons “why not” before we think of the reasons “why.” But we are all capable of so much more than we think we are. Making mistakes is a crucial part of living life to the full and if you shy away from them, you’re closing a door to so much opportunity to elevate yourself and develop as a human being, to experience new things.

No matter what age you are and what level of responsibility you have, aim to fail fast and don’t be scared. Nothing is final. If you make a mistake, you can always change it.  

Author: Rowan Morrison, Co-founder and Managing Director of strategic brand and communications agency, Rationale.

We’re here for a very short space of time, so why not try?