To Take Advantage of AI’s Impact on Your Career – Skate to Where the Puck is Going

By: Leslie Ferry, Brize Founder & CEO


Disclaimer: Apologies to non-sports fans, specifically non-hockey fans, for the analogy. It’s just particularly fitting.

How has AI already impacted your job? Not at all? Those individuals who “skate to where the puck is going” (more on this later) are either embracing generative AI to find ways to increase their productivity or analyzing how AI will impact how they achieve their objectives and goals.

For example, I am a member of a phenomenal Marketing community, CMO Coffee Talk. I joined when I was a CMO, and they’ve graciously allowed me to stay. Every Friday morning, this spirited bunch of Senior Marketing professionals and invited topical experts from across the globe come together to swap stories over coffee, sharing their strategy wins, cautionary tales, and “aha” moments, and provide support for one another’s career aspirations.

As you can imagine, lately, generative AI has dominated the weekly agenda. In addition to sharing tips, tricks, and best practices on effectively leveraging generative AI now, we’ve talked about the big shake-ups AI will cause – like how search engines will soon be serving up content very differently, turning current search strategies on their head. Those CMOs not “skating to where the puck is going” might wake up one day to find their website traffic is far from what it used to be.

This is just one of the countless examples of how generative AI will impact work. AI isn’t just inching its way into our jobs—it’s leaping and bounding, reshaping roles in ways we’re only beginning to imagine.

I’m all in on the AI revolution for its ability to streamline workflows and, more excitingly, to change lives for the better, like revolutionizing healthcare. On a deeper level at work, it will enrich what we do, clearing the decks of the mundane to make room for innovative ideation and genuine human connections.

This evolution will also impact the skills needed in the workplace. LinkedIn Research recently identified 500 skills affected by generative AI. They estimated it can eventually replicate a whopping 96% of what software engineers do today. They noted that legal and finance professions are also highly exposed to generative AI replication.

So, what skills are needed in the AI workplace? Adaptability, creativity, and collaboration are just a few. These skills don’t just make us better at our jobs; they infuse our work with purpose. Work will be about human connectivity to achieve audacious goals.

The most essential of these skills? Communication. We must be able to share ideas and goals in a way that individual listeners understand. And because it requires defining a goal or purpose for each conversation, knowing your audience, empathetic concern, a well-structured message, and more, it is fueled by other cognitive and human skills.

And yes, strong communication is also needed when interacting with generative AI itself. To reap the benefits of this powerful technology, we need to help it understand what we humans are asking of it. The quality of its responses is only as good as our guidance. We need to share what we want to accomplish, areas of potential impact it needs to consider, and other specific directions. Engaging with generative AI tools requires a clear purpose and exceptional human connectivity, starting with communication skills.

Remember our hockey metaphor? “Skate to where the puck is going?” It is about foresight, anticipating the forward movement of something, and positioning yourself to capitalize on it. If you skate to where the puck is, you’ll miss it because it has moved on.

Where generative AI is concerned, it will replace repetitive tasks and the skills that support them, sparking a massive shift for us humans to possess and leverage what is currently known as soft skills. They are already crucial in the workplace and will only increase in importance as generative AI takes over many of our daily tasks. Soft skills are the technical skills of the future. They are human in nature but are not always innate. And they are often misunderstood. So, they require attention to study, gain an understanding, and practice to develop and strengthen them. They are where the puck is headed.

The future is closer than you think. Communication is already the most in-demand skill across jobs on LinkedIn today. Start building these skills now so that when you hit the ice, you’re not chasing the puck but skating to where it is going, reaching it, and scoring.