When it comes to your career there are several key factors you should consider to ensure that you maintain control of your working life. In this post the aim is to help you understand what the future has in store, that way you will be better equipped to meet challenges and really capitalize on your opportunities by making your career futureproof.
Challenges for your future career
The workplace is constantly changing, and it would be naïve to think you’ll be in the same role for life. With technology advancing at its current rate combined with the ever-increasing effects of globalisation, several articles from technology and business journals indicate that up to 70% of the careers that exist today will be redundant by the end of the century. Experts believe that the rise of machines means everything humans can do, a machine can do. Take the automotive industry for example, for decades car manufacturers were large employers taking on thousands of workers, now the whole production process is automated.
Furthermore with the theme of austerity still largely on the political agenda, the impact this will have on organisational policy, recruitment and staff retention looks to be significant. This means you may end up like one of the thousands affected in the banking sector ever since the financial crisis. Even today they are facing redundancy, as Lloyd’s recently announced it will be axing 9,000 jobs by 2017 due to austerity measures, with technology replacing the bank staff to make long term savings.
Lastly you must consider more subtle changes that at first you may not even think have an impact on your career. Factors such as changes in demography and customer lifespan, may now see many people live until they are 100 and regions where 40% of the population are over 50. If you or your organisation fails to adapt to the ever changing market conditions this could mean disaster. Only those who map out, plan and futureproof their own career will thrive in the economy of tomorrow.
How do I futureproof my career?
Don’t let these statistics and stories alarm you. There are several tools you have at your disposal to help futureproof your career. Using these you will give yourself the best chance of avoiding the pitfalls of the future.
By reading this post you have already equipped yourself with a major tool in helping futureproof your career. This is to be aware of the forces that are and will continue to shape your career. The more you know about what the future holds for the economy and your sector, the better prepared you will be to meet the demands of the future. Being able to make wise choices will come from your ability to understand the present and future of your industry.
Another tool you have, as we covered in last week’s blog, is to invest in yourself and upskill. There are several ways you can do this, from in house training initiatives run by your company, government and employer funded apprenticeships or even paying for private training yourself . These are all great way to increase your skill set, making you more valuable to your company and industry as a whole due to your often specialist knowledge and experience. However it is key not to spread your talents too thinly. Separate yourself from the crowd by learning to master a skill or talent that you can develop with real depth that is also valued within your industry.
The final key tool at your disposal is networking, this will help develop your industry knowledge and keep up to date with new thinking within the sector. Furthermore it’s almost certain that at some point in your working life you will change employer, so it’s good to know key figures at other companies within your industry, both at your existing level and above within their organisational structure. Develop a good rapport with these people, as this will both aid your chances of being offered a position within a new company and also ensure a smooth and effective transition between roles. Fully utilising all of these tools can go a long way in helping futureproof your career.
Industries of the future!
The modern work environment is changing at such a rate that there is no hard and fast answer as to what jobs and industries will have the greatest longevity. However current thinking believes that roles involved in developing new markets through mediums such as social media, relationship building, viral and guerrilla marketing look to be reasonably safe as there are limits to which technology can encroach upon and usurp those employed within these industries.
Niche markets will continue to grow as people demand more unique items that are not available on the mass market, items such as specialist shops selling delicatessen foods, handmade cakes and breads, one-off jewellery, and a whole host of other items. These are just two sectors of an ever-growing and changing market that professionals from the corporate world may gravitate to as they look to move away to a more creative and fulfilling future.
Lastly we must consider other industries and roles that are simply non-existent at present but may develop as technology changes. For example at the turn of the century the e-commerce industry barley existed, however looking at it now the number of people working within this industry is simply mind blowing. With these industries, as the market grows there will also be training and teaching opportunities for those needing to learn. So in conclusion it’s impossible to say what the future holds, however you can be prepared for it!