5 STRATEGIES TO FUTURE-PROOF YOUR CAREER AND EMBRACE DIGITAL CHANGE
It’s easy to buy into the hype that new and disruptive technologies — particularly, artificial intelligence (AI) — are job killers. But technology’s power to change the nature of work, and make some jobs obsolete in the process, is nothing new. Neither is the fact that technology can create new markets and career paths — and provide opportunities for workers to be even more productive and innovative.
Of course, to take advantage of the future job trends that these tech advancements will help to create, professionals need to have relevant skills. But how can you know what skills and abilities you’ll need to be marketable in the future? What steps can you take now to “future-proof” your career and decrease the likelihood of being replaced by a machine?
1. ANTICIPATE TECH CHANGES IN YOUR WORKPLACE
One key strategy to future-proof your career is to try to anticipate which technologies your organization is likely to adopt sooner than later.
There are several ways you can do that, from being an astute observer of technology trends in your industry to paying close attention to what leaders at your firm are saying about the company’s goals for digital transformation. For example, there’s a good chance AI solutions are coming to your organization soon: According to a global research study from ManpowerGroup, most companies will be applying advanced AI to almost every function in the next two years.
What’s the next step after you identify some possible tech changes coming to your workplace? A good rule of thumb is that professionals learn how to use at least two new technologies that are likely to become relevant to their profession (some are listed in the study above). Adopting this enterprising and entrepreneurial approach will help you evolve your own career.
If you’re worried about whether you can learn new skills, give yourself more credit. Take your Learnability Quotient Test here to discover your skills learnability.
2. PUT YOUR CAREER DEVELOPMENT ON THE FRONT BURNER
When businesses adopt new technologies and automate processes and tasks, they free their employees to perform other, more value-adding work. This is a great opportunity for professionals to shine, provided they’re ready to take more responsibility for directing their careers — and are working now to future-proof them.
However, many people don’t take a proactive approach to their career development and planning, and that could easily hurt them in the future. Employees often devote less time to professional development once they are actually in the workforce when this focus should be continuous.
If you feel like you need to jump-start your career development, reach out for help. Talk about your career aspirations with your supervisor, the human resources department, and valued contacts in your professional network, for a start. Participating in professional and industry organizations is another strategy for staying on top of technology and business trends that could impact your job or open doors to appealing new career paths.
If you’re looking for training or career development opportunities, visit our Workforce Development Programs here and find out how Manpower Alberta can help you further your career path.
3. ELEVATE YOUR EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
If you want to future-proof your career, don’t just focus on growing and refining your technical abilities. The experts agree that “human skills” such as empathy will top the list of vital skills that workers and business leaders will need in the future. And demonstrating other forms of emotional intelligence, such as compassion and the ability to understand nuance, is one area where human workers have their AI counterparts beat — at least, for now.
ManpowerGroup’s research featured in the Humans Wanted: Robots Need You report found that more than half of U.S. managers (51%) expect the introduction of new technologies in the workplace to drive up demand for stellar soft skills. So, no matter what future job trends unfold, you can bet that employers will still value abilities and qualities such as critical thinking, active listening, problem-solving and, of course, adaptability.
4. NURTURE YOUR INNER LEADER
According to the Humans Wanted: Robots Need You report, work in the future will be self-driven to a large degree, and also project-driven, digitally lead, and team-oriented. Professionals, to succeed in this environment, will need solid leadership skills to direct themselves, their projects and others.
Take your DigiQuotient test here, and discover your ability to lead in this digital age.
5. BE FLEXIBLE, BOLD, AND OPEN TO NEW WAYS OF WORK
Embracing flexibility is another key to success for professionals in the future workplace. As more organizations digitize and deploy advanced technologies like machine learning and AI to automate basic tasks, including some types of decision making, companies and workers will also start to look at jobs much differently.
You will need to focus on building a solid mix of hard and soft skills if you want to future-proof your career. You’re probably doing that, as these skills are already in demand. Moving forward, you may want to focus on using your critical-thinking abilities to analyze how technology may change your workplace in the near term and spark future job trends. That includes examining how you perform your current work, and whether you could do those processes or tasks differently — and better — by applying new technology.
Will disrupting your own job with technology help to future-proof your career? Quite possibly. You’ll be stepping up to learn valuable skills and experience that can help you anticipate and benefit from future job trends. At the very least, it could help you to avoid being disrupted by digital change unexpectedly.
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As one of Alberta’s leading staffing agencies, Manpower Alberta prioritizes data driven research into Canada’s workforce.
Are you looking for employment? In need of workforce solutions for your industry? Manpower Alberta is here to help.
Visit our website at manpowerab.com.