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How To BUILD A Future-Proof Skill Set

How To BUILD A Future-Proof Skill Set

As the year’s second quarter begins, it’s time to move from preparation to action. And the next step of the BUILD Journey is Skills. Let’s discuss ways you can set yourself up for future-proof success with AI.

We are in April 2023. For all transparency, the first months of the year have been far from what I had envisioned, and I have tested my adaptability skills more than ever before. After focusing on the foundations in the first quarter, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to work.

BUILD Skills

One is never knowledgeable enough that there’s nothing else to learn. Not before, not nowadays. Earlier today, I watched a fragment from a Brazilian TV program on how the requirements of a good Executive Assistant went from typing fast to having Emotional Intelligence and being able to deal with stress.

We experienced changes in all professional areas in the past decade. And in our personal lives, how we organize ourselves and perform mundane tasks has also drastically evolved. But even changes that seem to happen in the blink of an eye have been, in fact, in development for a long time. While you may feel that AI was born with ChatGPT, you have been playing with Siri, Alexa, Cortana, and Google Assistant for years already, to mention some of its most popular players.

But how can we fit into this revolution? What do we need to do to stay relevant and keep up? The most straightforward answer is to develop a future-proof skill set. Using the BUILD framework, here are some examples:

  • Bold Skills
  • Useful Skills
  • Interesting Skills
  • Lasting Skills
  • Doable Skills

5 steps of the BUILD journey

Bold Skills

You’ll need to leave your comfort zone anyway, so there’s no reason to hold back. Since the start of the pandemic, I’ve been investing massively in my professional growth. A few certifications later, I got clarity on the path I wanted to BUILD for myself: Junior Chief of Staff. Without being stuck on the title (other alternatives are Strategic Assistant, Head of Strategic Initiatives, or C-suite Associate), my focus is on the job content. To make sure I’ll be ready when an opportunity comes, I have been dedicating myself to:

  • Exposing myself to new technologies;
  • Learning how AI works and how I can benefit from it;
  • Improving my prompting skills;
  • Connecting with other like-minded professionals;
  • Applying new-learned skills to my daily job to become even more efficient.

Your turn:

  • Based on your BUILD plan, what future-proof skills do you need to achieve your goals?
  • How can you use AI to your advantage?

Useful Skills

AI is the first thing that comes to mind regarding future-proof skills. Everyone is talking about it, and we can apply it to help us with our work and hobbies. Embracing AI-driven tools can increase your efficiency and effectiveness in various tasks.

If using ChatGPT overwhelms you, I recommend using Bing, as it incorporates AI to deliver more relevant search results. If you live in the USA or UK, I recommend applying for Bard*.

Here are some additional AI tools that can be useful in your career:

  • Zapier for automating repetitive tasks and streamlining workflows.
  • Descript for detecting and removing filler words from videos and podcasts.

Your turn:

  • What AI tools could help you improve your efficiency and effectiveness in your current role?
  • How can you implement these AI tools into your daily workflow to enhance your skills?

AI is the new electricity

Interesting Skills

Another way I have been using to practice my AI skills is by creating images with:

DALL-E is perfect for beginners, while Midjourney will take your prompts to the next level. Canva has been my go-to tool for design and branding since 2014. The recent AI-based roll-outs were the cherry on top of the icing.

You don’t need the ambition to become an artist to start playing with these tools. Just ensure you follow the AI etiquette and take credit for the creation (the recommended practice).

Your turn:

  • In what fields of interest have you already used AI?
  • What other applications would you like to experiment with?

Lasting Skills

What AI will look like in the future is impossible to predict. The tools we use now and how we use them will also change. However, the skills we can learn as “first-wave” adopters remain. They will evolve but won’t disappear (remember that I’ve been using Canva for almost ten years!).

Lasting skills include problem-solving, critical thinking, communication, adaptability, and collaboration. By developing these core skills, you’ll be able to transfer them to new tools and technologies that emerge in the future.

To develop lasting skills, you can also try other AI tools, such as:

  • Grammarly for enhancing your writing and communication skills
  • Quillbot for improving your writing, including paraphrasing and summary.

Your turn:

  • What lasting skills can you develop now to ensure you stay relevant in the future?
  • How can you build on these skills as technology evolves?
Set yourself up to success with future-proof skill set using the BUILD framework. Share on X

Doable Skills

Even though I do my best to learn as much as possible from my colleagues, I don’t want to become a (Prompt) Engineer. Therefore, it makes no sense to waste my time with skills that are not applicable to my career goals. Focus on skills that are attainable and relevant to your desired role or industry. These doable skills could involve specific software proficiency, project management, data analysis, or presentation techniques.

Some AI tools to help develop doable skills include:

Your turn:

  • What doable skills can you focus on to achieve your desired position or career growth?
  • How can you prioritize your learning to maximize your efforts?

What’s in for you

Only you can decide how to apply the tips above to your needs. Use my questions as conversation starters to get clarity on what skills can make a difference in your professional career and personal life. There is never a correct answer. It all depends on where you are, what you want to achieve, how much you can dedicate to developing new skills (time & money), and your definition of success.

The latter is essential because it will help define your efforts. Suppose you want to learn how to cook not to cause your family members indigestion. In that case, you won’t need the same level of commitment as someone who wants to open a restaurant.

Save your brainstorming! Whether online or on paper, ensure you have your draft close to you as much as possible, and don’t hesitate to review it as you progress. Don’t get attached to the path; your goal is what truly matters.

If you have questions or want inspiration, please follow me on LinkedIn. You’ll also get a closer look at my progress.

Wishing you tons of success! Keep on BUILDing.

As the year’s second quarter begins, it’s time to move from preparation to action. And the next step of the BUILD Journey is Skills. Let’s discuss ways you can set yourself up for future-proof success with AI.

*Unfortunately, Bard was not supported in my country when I wrote this article.

About The Author

Debbie Rodrigues

Debbie Rodrigues is a powerhouse Executive Assistant by day and a Planning aficionado by night. During her free time, when she is not cycling, you'll probably find her journaling.

Hello, my name is Debbie Rodrigues.

By day, I am a powerhouse Senior Executive Assistant; by night, I am a planning enthusiast. When I'm not cycling, you'll probably find me journaling in my free time.

On my website, you'll find tips to elevate your skill set, build confidence, improve productivity, and achieve success in the things that truly matter to you.