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What will the world look like in 20 years from now? I remember well the day as a young marketer, I was given the first ‘personal computer’ my company had purchased. It was an IT (software) company so we were technologically savvy, but this really was a new frontier. Microsoft Windows ‘point and click’ had only just arrived. It isn’t that long ago, but back then anyone who needed a computer had ‘green screen’ terminals attached to a mainframe, or if you were one of the lucky few – an Apple Mac. Fast forward 20 odd years and it is unheard of for anyone in an office environment not to have their own laptop or PC with internet access and a vast array of software.
Many jobs have changed and evolved significantly, and I’m certain the job market of the future holds many surprises for most of us. So what can you do now, to ensure your knowledge and skills are marketable into the future?
1. Keep up to date – career paths are changing all the time so stay alert and think about how cultural, economic and technological trends might affect you, your job and your company. Understand that new jobs are being created all the time.
2. Network – most commentators agree that word of mouth and networking will become even more important in securing jobs in the future. While networking is not new, technological advances mean the way we do it is vastly different to 10 years ago. Keep track of everyone you meet, stay in touch with former colleagues and superiors and join professional networking groups. This has all become so much easier to achieve with online tools such as LinkedIn.
3. Learn – continuous learning is essential. Offer to take on different responsibilities in your current role to gain experience that might enable you to look for opportunities outside of your primary area of expertise. Ensure your skills are transferrable by looking outside your current job scope to develop cross-functional skills.
4. Get Tech Savvy – technological proficiency is required for more and more jobs today. Think how much a GP needs to understand about technology today compared to 10 or 20 years ago where virtually no technology was involved. There is also an increasing use of mobile technology and the globalisation of many markets means that working with virtual teams, while leveraging a range of different technologies, will be another important skill.
5. Know Your Value – create and maintain a record of your achievements. When you’re looking for a new job, you need more than just skills and experience. You need specialist expertise and you need to be able to demonstrate the value you can bring to an organisation. By keeping track of successes, accolades, outstanding results and training completed, it will be so much easier when the time comes to move.
6. Remain open – Your career path may be clear, but for many people it isn’t – especially if you are in a slow growing or declining industry. Keep your options open so you’re not locked in or taken by surprise. It’s best to prepare sooner rather than later.
It is important to remain flexible and optimistic. Industries, careers and jobs are changing at a rapid pace and the people that succeed are those that embrace our changing world and the setbacks encountered as learning experiences. Are you constantly listening, learning and planning? If so, you’ll find yourself in the best possible position to capitalise on opportunities as they arise.
Would you like career advice to better understand where the experts are predicting job growth for the future? Or perhaps you’d like to put together a plan that identifies how you can future proof your career. If so, our Career Advisors can help! For more information, please see our career coaching services.