As our job market changes, so do the skills necessary to succeed in the modern workplace. Of course, job automation is a growing reality in many industries; a direct result of technology's immeasurable influence and a large reason for joblessness across the globe. For this reason, neuroscientist Tara Swart believes that "deeply human skills," like those "rooted in emotional intelligence," are rising in value in our job market.
"About 20 years ago, it was seen as really important to be strategic rather than tactical," she told Fast Company. "Now, I think an understanding of the cognitive sciences is going to be the thing that makes people thrive." She specifies that skills that aren't so easily automated—or the "executive functions" of the brain—will soon be what employers look for when hiring new talent. According to Swart, these executive functions include the ability to:
1. Regulate our emotions
2. Suppress our biases
3. Switch between tasks
4. Solve complex problems
In other words, proficiency in uniquely human skills will effectively safeguard you from potential job automation. She does add that operating at your highest potential means practicing self-care and being mindful of burnout. "If you're stressed, then the brain actually moves the blood supply away from the higher centers of the brain down to what's called survival mode," she explains. "In that state, you can get up and come to work and sit at your desk and look like you shouldn't lose your job, but you're unlikely to be really productive or to collaborate with people."
Head over to Fast Company for more from Swart, and read up on what could be holding back your career and happiness next.