Drones delivering pizzas. Bots answering customer questions. Autonomous trains ensuring workers reach office on time. Alexa controlling machines. This is a reality.
Technology, automation, complex organizational structures, and numerous other changes are altering the way we work. Some jobs are disappearing, new ones are gaining significance and job roles are evolving. For example, digital marketing roles didn’t exist a couple of years back. Robots taking over logistics roles in warehouses is resulting in less requirement of human intervention in the process. Amidst all these changes, one thing remains certain – the need to be a relevant employee.
This raises a question- how do we future proof our career? Let’s find out what the job market demands of employees.
Have a growth mindset
Building a growth mindset is critical for professionals to respond to changes in today’s work environment. Research conducted by Psychological Science shows that people’s mindsets vary. People who think that interests are inherent have a fixed mindset; those that think that interests can be developed, have a growth mindset. A report shows that up to 375 million people worldwide would need to change or learn new skills by 2030.
An article in McKinsey shares seven best practices with which individuals can build a growth mindset.
1. Focus on growth
2. Consistently master skills
3. Stretch outside your comfort zone
4. Build your brand
5. Take charge of your learning and growth
6. Find purpose in what you do
7. Imbibe sustainable habits for your mind and your body
With all the changes in the business and job landscape, are you learning and up-skilling to keep pace with them?
Agility and consistent learning
One has to be an agile learner to succeed in a rapidly evolving job market. How does it help? It provides intellectual flexibility and professional adaptability. These two qualities can help employees gain new skills, grasp opportunities in new market sectors.
As noted by Forbes, we humans are doubling our knowledge every 13 months. IBM predicts that in the next few years, the volume of information will double every 11 hours.
What could be some ways by which employees can ensure consistent learning and up-skilling? Corporates are experimenting with a new learning ecosystem, which offers individuals more accessible, more affordable ways to skills acquisition. When employees engage in smaller learning goals, they benefit more as compared to learning from formal education systems.
Tap into soft skills
Research by Harvard, Carnegie and Stanford’s universities have all revealed that 85% of job success is the result of soft skills and people skills. The World Economic Forum has predicted there will be a significant rise in demand for soft skills by 2020.
So why are soft skills being considered so essential?
Technology is driving rapid change. The expectations of customers and markets are evolving. Having employees with the right mix of technical and soft skills is crucial for business success. Here’s a simple example: data analytics software can analyze data or find patterns for you. But it takes human faculties such as empathy, emotional quotient, critical thinking to apply the findings from the data to build solutions for humans.
Curiosity has a direct link to career growth. It is one of the most essential skills for the future. Some benefits of curiosity are obvious: it increases knowledge, piques interest in people, helps cultivate professional relationships, makes one open to new ideas, experiences and possibilities.
Apart from these understandable benefits, curiosity is considered to be a key skill for problem solving and decision-making, two important traits for today’s professionals. How is that? The Harvard Business Review explains it with the help of three qualities that help people manage complexity.
- Intellectual quotient (IQ): helps employees learn new things faster and solve complex problems.
- Emotional quotient (EQ): helps employees navigate stress, anxiety and have better control over complex organizational situations.
- Curiosity quotient (CQ): helps generate many original ideas, knowledge acquisition and helps produce simple solutions to complex problems
A new job, a promotion or a freelance project- are you ready? Are your skills relevant in the job market? If not, are you excited to build your career?