Can you predict the following 10 years from now?
• What role and position would you hold?
• What skill sets and competencies would be required in your profession/function/role and how will you keep up with it?
• What disruption or transformation your industry/function/profession might face?
• If a disruption happens, will you be a victim without any viable career path?
• What other alternatives do you have and confident that you will be able to find another job or switch career?
• How are you going to deal with factors that affect the employment market that is beyond your control (eg: geopolitics, war, regulation, labor laws, inflation, cost of living, lay off etc.)
As startling as this might be, I have started the article with a few questions that you should be asking yourself constantly and see where you stand and if you have the ability and resilience to weather these. They are not aimed to cause panic or increase your anxiety, but to highlight why I am writing this article and how it can potentially help you to prepare for future and have a cushion for career crashes.
Out of all the concerns, I have regarding the workforce and its well-being into the future, I am convinced that every individual holds the key to their own success rather than being a victim to changing times. Read on further as to why I say this and what you can do about it.
So, what’s the Danger?
At Globalmbacareer, I have the privilege of working with different sets of people (as below) and it has helped me to see the holistic picture and requirements of each of these parties alongside the macro elements
• Employers – from startups to corporations and from managers to c-level executives
• Career Development Managers in business schools
• Experts in recruiting, thought leaders, HR, career coaches etc.
The predominant concern that is at the top of the Employer’s mind is “Will I be able to find skillful talent – for both today and tomorrow”
We have been constantly bombarded with the acute skill shortage reports prevalent in the world. I do not need to throw you statistics or quote the research findings as you are inundated with it. Almost every research whether conducted by McKinsey/BCG/Deloitte/Gallup/Accenture/ brings out the same issues – Skill shortages in the workforce, war for talent and universities unable to produce graduates who are employable.
Being hands-on and connected with both employers and candidates, I can tell you that it is common to find a lot of qualified or experienced candidates – but not ones with often the right/balanced skill sets.
The skill sets employers seek could be categorized mainly into 2 buckets
• Technical/functional skills
• Soft skills
So when employers say they face skill shortage they mean that they find it very difficult to find candidates who have the right skill sets (technical and soft).
The ingredient to Success
If you want to be successful in future, it all boils down to one requirement – have the right skill set that employers crave for.
You need to be ahead of your times if you want to guarantee your attractiveness and relevance to employers
If you can get this right all the time for both present and future, you will be less endangered with the changing times. We all know that this is a lifelong requirement and it is easily said than done.
What does it take to be Successful?
We do not live anymore in a time where lifetime employment is guaranteed, even in government or public institutions. During the baby boomers generation, you could just have any degree and start with a good employment with assured stability and timely progression. As that generation is seeing its end and the millennials joining the employment market coupled with the radical change in the global market, career prospects have permanently changed.
Employees are focused on the present while they should be more focused on the future. Most of us are focused in firefighting the present while the successful focus on creating the future and certainly the future belongs to them
You are responsible for your own career and should take an active interest in it. Things will not automatically fall in place. Several of your credentials (degrees, achievements etc.) will not necessarily buffer you from future requirements and you need to learn new skills and competencies.
If you want to remain successful in future, you have to cultivate the ability to see the changes that appear on the horizon and prepare effectively to tackle them
Employers are more worried about the future and so should you. The employment market changes and evolves along with the global business climate and you should have a pulse on it. You need to take your career in your own hand rather than expect employers to take care of you. Companies are too busy in running the business and cannot devout attention to your skill deficiency nor ensure that you are future proof.
In the next part Future-Proof Your Career – Part 2, we delve into how to keep up with the skill requirements.