5 Skills To Make You Irreplaceable In The Workplace

5 Skills To Make You Irreplaceable In The Workplace

5 Skills To Make You Irreplaceable In The Workplace


The rise of technology has threatened to replace human workers with artificial intelligence (AI) in recent years. It has been estimated that by 2025, AI could take over 52% of jobs globally.

However, there are still many interactions that can only be accomplished with the human touch, especially in fields that rely on the human-to-human connection. Jobs like these can be achieved by developing soft skills, non-technical qualities, interpersonal attributes, and personality traits, which translate to effective communication, collaboration, and interactions within the workplace.

So, what soft skills do you need to ensure job security in our currently technologically-dependent work environment? Here are 5 for you to consider.

Critical Thinking

Despite AI technologies becoming more intricate, the human mind continues to be fascinating with its cognitive abilities, emotional intelligence, creativity, and ethical reasoning — all of which contribute to informed decision-making and problem-solving needed for critical thinking. A large-scale survey among employers shows that 81% of companies strongly emphasize employees’ ability to think critically.

Developing critical thinking skills allows employees to navigate complex systems and innovate solutions in their day-to-day activities. While AI may excel when given predetermined parameters, critical thinkers have the flexibility to adjust their approach based on various circumstances and ethical contexts.

As critical thinkers decide through subjective judgment, intuition, and personal experiences, people whose roles involve constant decision-making are harder to replace by AI.

Strategic Planning

Every job involves some sort of planning – from goal setting, strategy formulation, allocating resources, project implementation, and monitoring, to evaluation. This is especially crucial for business analysts and project managers, but jobs involving strategic planning may vary depending on the industry or company structure.

Effective strategic planning requires creativity and innovation for new approaches, adapting to changing circumstances, and seizing new opportunities. AI systems may struggle in responding to unanticipated changes, making employees with strategic planning skills more favorable to do the work. Strategic planners will remain indispensable in driving the company towards success.

Task Delegation

Some tasks are easier accomplished alone, but others need more support for better outcomes. And as the use of AI becomes more common, task management may be seen as a thing that can just be automated. However, human judgment is still crucial for task delegation, as they consider the capabilities of team members and their workload. Task delegation also includes determining which person is most suitable for which deliverable, providing clear instructions, and supporting them for a successful execution.

A study on time management revealed that only 28% of companies offer training on delegation skills. So, if you can develop a keen understanding, practice task delegation, and make processes smoother for your team, you’re making yourself more valuable and irreplaceable at work.


It’s easy to mistake communication skills for the mere ability to hold conversations, but it goes beyond that. Effective communication deals with conveying ideas, building relationships, and persuading others to support your initiatives in the workplace. It could also be useful to showcase influence if you’re in a leadership position.

Communication skills can also boost your impact by enabling you to craft narratives and illustrate your ideas compellingly, collaborate with your teammates to achieve common goals, and drive positive change within the company.

Although it may nowadays be common to use AI to draft a professional-sounding email, the human touch is still irreplaceable when dealing with sensitive issues, like customer service and those that still need to be handled face-to-face. This also involves handling crises and managing stakeholders.

Investing in communication skills leads to becoming a more productive and efficient team member and leader, which will help pave your way toward professional success.


In the business industry, negotiation is the name of the game. And despite the availability of remote or virtual platforms like phone calls, emails, and Zoom, meeting face-to-face to negotiate is more likely to result in favorable results, including clearer agreed-upon terms and notions of commitment.

Learning negotiation tactics and techniques will help you become more marketable as an employee, especially if you’re dealing with procurement processes. You’ll be able to make concessions strategically, which creates value through trade-offs like preferential pricing for contracts and vendors.

AI technologies will find it hard to replace human negotiators as they bring emotional intelligence, creativity, and judgment to cut a deal that results in a win-win situation for the involved parties. Negotiating skills remain invaluable to building partnerships and maintaining clients in the business industry. Negotiation is also a key skill for management roles when dealing with deadlines, timelines, budgets, and conflict resolution.

While AI continues to thrive in automating routine tasks and processing vast amounts of data, there are unique qualities that only humans process, which sets them apart from technology and positions themselves as irreplaceable assets to the company. Although investing in learning new tech is important these days, cultivating these soft skills is also a strategic move to staying relevant and indispensable in an increasingly digital workplace.

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