Staying ahead of the game
Technology is both changing and taking over traditional professions. 3D printing, robotics, cobots, machine learning and mass databases have all contributed to the ongoing disruption of work and employment patterns. Automation is something that potentially threatens nearly every job out there. The trick is to find a professional position that technology can’t do, but the number of these are dwindling. It’s safe to say that the workplace of the future will be an entirely different environment to the offices and sites of today, kitted out with IoT, sensors, super connectivity, advanced robotics, and of course AI. With so many innovations enhancing business processes, an awareness of technology is absolutely necessary. Even if your chosen job has nothing to do with IT, a basic knowledge of computer systems is becoming a standard skill. If you’re not sure how to navigate the changing job market, here are five suggestions.
1. Online presence
Having a quality online presence has always been a key employability tool, but in the digital age it’s more important than ever. Employees are increasingly working from home, which means that future employers might not even need to meet their staff members before offering them a job. Instead of winning over a potential boss in a face to face interview, applicants will need to be able to sell themselves on sites like LinkedIn, as well as gig economy websites like TaskRabbit. Without a convincing online profile, it’s easy to come across as outdated.
2. Relevant qualifications
As employers integrate innovative solutions with existing business infrastructures, they are becoming more reliant on staff members who understand cutting edge technology. While it’s true that you might not know the first thing about programming, it’s never too late to learn. It’s never been easier, either, with the growing availability of affordable online courses. Udacity, for instance, offers a range of ‘nanodegrees’ in marketing, robotics, analytics, programming and various other useful tech and business related skills. The constant process of disruption calls for people who are willing to learn, and by completing new qualifications, jobseekers can demonstrate learning agility.
3. Compatibility with tech
It’s rewarding to have a good relationship with your boss and your coworkers, but the coworkers and managers of the future aren’t necessarily going to be human. As well as other people, employees will need to be able to work alongside machines and software too. In order to do this, they need to be tolerate of and understand these systems. In NACE’s 2016 Job Outlook Survey, 60 per cent of corporate respondents stated that they look for technical skills in candidate resumes. Over half also sought applicants with computer skills.
4. Communication skills
Digitalisation and data have completely changed the way that people communicate, both within and outside of business. Sure, it’s useful to be able to hold a conversation, but sharing information is gradually moving into the online space. Marketing is all about connecting with your audience, and this can only be achieved through effective communication. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are the perfect platforms with which to address the millennial market, for example. Perhaps one of the most vital business skills is the ability to condense and then communicate data. It doesn’t matter how much information a company collects if they can’t make sense of it.
5. Ability to adapt
In the face of disruption, companies need flexible, lateral thinkers to compliment fluid business strategies. Dealing with unpredictable change is a regular part of business management, particularly at a time when technology moves so quickly and stealthily. This means that the most valuable staff members are willing to embrace change, think outside of the box, and have an entrepreneurial mindset. These are the qualities demonstrated by numerous technological disruptors, including Tesla Motors’ Elon Musk, Apple’s Tim Cook, and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos (to name a few).
It’s going to be incredibly difficult for people to find work in a tech saturated world, especially if they don’t fit the criteria laid out by potential employers. But acquiring all of the above skills could make life far easier for job hunters. That is, if the workplace of the future still needs human employees. Either way, technology isn’t going to stop fundamentally affecting employment, and it’s those who recognise and respond to this who stand the best chance of riding out the storm.