How to upskill in the automation age

As robots continue to join workplaces, upskilling for career longevity has never been more important. But recognising the need to keep your skills relevant in the age of automation and undertaking this process are two very different things.

For EAs, it’s important to embrace, not fight, automation and AI. This involves identifying the higher-value tasks you could perform to remain relevant. Already this is a trend that employers are recruiting for, with the number of pure traditional EA roles decreasing in favour of hybrid EA jobs.

Preparing for these more advanced duties requires upskilling.

1. Ask for stretch opportunities at work

Taking on a project outside your usual remit is a great way to develop new skills. Often your executive is the key to having your name put forward to be part of an internal project.

2. Stay plugged in

Follow industry leaders and thinkers via LinkedIn, TED Talks, Twitter and other social media. Keep your eye out for informative webinars or podcasts.

3. Join an industry or professional association

Membership of a professional association can also aid skills and career building.

4. Relevant courses

Formal short courses can also be used to acquire knowledge and skills, but before you embark on any study make sure you research the long-term relevancy of the skills you would gain.

5. Learn at work

Peer-to-peer learning is a new trend. If you work in a large organisation, can you set up a study group with other EAs? Or could you ask a colleague to teach you a skill you want to acquire?

The author:
Alex Jones is Senior Regional Director at Hays Office Support

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