Last Updated on May 2, 2022 by Chin Yi Xuan

Every now and then we see news and articles highlighting the jobs that’ll be displaced by AI in the near future. 

But WAIT. This ain’t it. 

Read on, please. 

“If we can write down your job description, then we can find someone cheaper to do it. The fact is, that someone may not even be a person. So that means we need to teach kids to eagerly do things that cannot be written down.”
– Seth Godin

When I came across this quote from Seth Godin (one of my favorite authors), I was intrigued. 

I asked myself:

What is the kind of job descriptions that could not be written down, or even if they are written down, are extremely hard to replicate or execute consistently? (read: SOP)

Think ’bout that for a moment. Then, cross-check with the 10 things that I got in mind in the list below:

  • 1. Showing Empathy & Compassion  
  • 2. Greeting people with a warm, genuine smile. (You can include this in official SOPs, guess how many will follow?) 
  • 3. Giving a firm handshake. (don’t do that now though) 
  • 4. Giving hugs (don’t do this now too)
  • 5. Become a good listener
  • 6. Negotiate & finding middle ground. 
  • 7. Having critical & unique foresight.
  • 8. Making hard, discretionary & grey area decisions. 
  • 9. Having a strong ethic.
  • 10. Expressing love and passion. 

As I’m writing this down, something struck me:

Your in-paper job descriptions do not define you. Your personalities & perspective do.

You may, or may not agree with all the things I mentioned on the list, and that’s totally fine. 

What I am hopeful for, is we can all agree that there are certain perspectives or qualities that are unique to each individual.

These qualities of us are something that could not be easily replicated by a cheaper counterpart (ie. labor), or be replaced by AI (at most, they complement us).

In short, our unique human qualities & perspective make us indispensable in work and in life. 

And we got to nurture those qualities to our (future) kids. 


Before we teach these to our kids, don’t you think we have to first practice/build up these qualities first? 

p.s. What other qualities do you think should be on the list? Share with me by replying to this post! 

Love to hear from you!