The world is ablaze with how artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and nanotechnology will radically affect the way we work. There’s also a fear that our jobs could be replaced by these technological advances.
To an extent, this is only a risk if we fail to adapt. According to the World Economic Forum, 50% of the work we do today could be automated by 2055.
However, it is a matter of perspective. For centuries, the job market has continuously evolved and shifted to the needs of the global economy. Jobs have been lost and industries have disappeared, while new ones are created.
What we are seeing today is, therefore, similar to what we have already experienced in the past. However, what’s different is that the pace of change we are experiencing is a lot quicker.
The trick is to thrive, rather than survive
Our skills and experiences have always been at risk of becoming obsolete. The greatest defence we haveis personal development anda willingness to constantly reskill. This can future proof our careers and increases our attractiveness as a job candidate.
If you do this well, you present yourself as educated and willing to “step up” and take advantage of the changes you see.
I cannot stress how desirable this characteristic is for a company seeking a skilled candidate. Adapting to industry change is one of the biggest challenges companies face today. There will always be jobs that allow you to survive, but what companies want are people that will help them thrive.
You can see this by the way companies now organise their human resources teams. Quite often they will have a dedicated talent management team to find these specific types of candidates. In Switzerland, this function is particularly important for many companies because it can give them a competitive edge internationally.
These roles are often highly visible and offer great career prospects
Quite often the senior management teams within a company will take a strong interest in recruiting these types of candidates. These are jobs that offer a high level of visibility and the chance for significant career advancement. Subsequently, they also offer the chance to future proof a career.
However, to get these types of jobs isn’t easy. You need to possess a degree of specialism that is in short supply and likely to add value to the company you join. Quite often, this is only obtainable if you're willing to constantly reskill. Knowledge is everything, but it also needs to be kept up to date.
This means that candidates need to be forward-looking and invest in themselves by engaging in continuous learning. What companies want to see is that they are keeping up to date on the changes that are happening in their industry.
In a research report conducted by Gartner, 70% of the people they surveyed reported that they didn't have the skills they needed for their jobs today. 80% said they lacked both the skills needed for their current role and their future career. However, rather than despair, this environment represents an opportunity to those willing to reskill before anyone else does.
The reskilling revolution is about to begin
As I’ve mentioned, we are in a transformative economic environment that is being shaped by technological advances. Constant reskilling is therefore essential as jobs change and careers take a different course.
Fortunately, the cost of information has declined significantly. Subsequently, it's never been cheaper or easier to reskill for anyone with access to the internet. There is now an incredible array of free online courses to choose from. There are also webinars and podcasts to listen to, videos to watch, and online articles to read.
It's also not just "hard" skills that are valuable. Soft skills in communication, teamwork and resilience are also increasingly valued by employers. These skills make it easier to form relationships with people, create trust and dependability, and even show that you can lead teams. It represents yet another way you can future proof your career.
The future is bright if you embrace change
If you’re prepared to reskill and shift into new roles as they develop, then your career is set to fly. You will always be in demand and remain highly employable until you retire. It is just a matter of mindset and your willingness to adapt. Reskilling will, therefore, future proof your career!