It does not take much to work out that the workplace and our careers have changed, from our skills to how we collaborate to the technologies we use. Recent news suggests that roughly half of Australian jobs will be potentially affected by automation and technology change in the near future. Here are five skills to start building now to future proof your career and maintain your employ-ability.
Learn about , or spot, the next trend
The big misconception regarding for many employees and job hunters today is that they learn something and then assume that what they learnt is going to carry them through the rest of their lives. You change your mobile phone every year to keep up with the latest technology and with the workplace changing so quickly, you’ll need to keep up with that as well, and that includes technology and trends.
This means staying in touch with industry changes, taking classes, attending trade events, and following thought leaders in your sector. But most importantly, it means that you need to be observant about the day-to-day tasks and functions that matter in your industry and how they’re changing, separating anomalies from trends.
Cooperate and work together IN NEW WAYS
Two trends are intersecting that will force us to get comfortable collaborating in new ways. First, more and more companies hire freelancers, contractors and soloists (aka the “gig economy”) so it’s important that you are familiar with, understand and know how to work effectively with disparate team members online.
Platforms like Podio and Slack cut down on the flow of messages in your inbox and keep project versions, information, and updates in one central, searchable location and collaboration tools like Basecamp or Trello help you to work effectively with freelancers and contractors across the globe. If you want to stay employed or get hired, you will need to know how to collaborate the ‘new way’.
Create and maintain your brand – EVEN AS EMPLOYEES
Congrats, you have a LinkedIn profile and you know to practise careful social media interaction and etiquette on your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. But, if you want to be seen as a marketable employee, then you will need to take a more holistic view of what your online brand is. This applies particularly to Gen X employees and job hunters.
Brand-building and other entrepreneurial skills will also be important as more workers shift to the gig economy and freelance work. To compete on a regular basis for the next job, you have to have a body of work and online capital to back up your skills and experience claims and support your pitch for the next job.
LEARN and stay IN TOUCH with TECHNOLOGY
Your latest wearable technology can help you do your job from the road, but learning how to interact with machines equipped with the latest in artificial intelligence, or the onset of automation in your office or other workplace is essential. Remaining employable requires embracing rather than avoiding technology changes or abstaining from “staying in touch” with the new world.
You need to be aware of what’s going on the in the world. Pay attention to what’s happening in the workplaces of your competitors or in your field of work in general and then prepare. That way, you’ll be ahead of the game when the changes come to you.
DEVELOP & display EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
It sounds cliché, but what machines can’t do is build real relationships, develop empathy, embrace vulnerability, build strong connections with your co-workers and your network (aka emotional intelligence). If you can set it up for yourself, then you will go a long way to staying or being employable.
Looking for the next changes, learning about them and remaining ahead of the curve will be essential to remain amongst the most marketable employees. Finally, paying attention to the human side of work — the area that machines will be most challenged in replicating or replacing, can be the ultimate way to keep your job opportunities strong.
Keep your mind sharp and your eyes and ears open and remember to hunt wisely!