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Keeping Your Skills Relevant in a Changing Job Market

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Drone Classification Analyst, Crowdfunding Specialist, Self-Driving Car Mechanic – we can only speculate what exciting new roles will be part of our future workforce. Aside from the development of technology; political and social factors have also been driving our job landscape to change, in both the commercial and public sector.

On the other side of the coin, many companies have been acknowledging this phenomenon for decades, actively thinking about how they can make their employees relevant to jobs that haven’t yet been created. It would be worth taking stock of where you’re at currently in your career, and how you can best position yourself to adapt to a changing job market. 

Based on our experience, here are some things to consider:

1. Pay attention to what’s already happening

Keep an eye out for obvious changes in both work and your everyday life. Notice how supermarkets and McDonald’s now have self-serve checkouts? Or some companies have interactive voice response systems rather than a customer service representative? Pay attention to these changes and how they can be applied to the work you do. 

Things have changed a lot in recent years; interviews are no longer confined to in-person exchanges, recruiters have adapted social media to source top candidates, and job seekers can browse through multiple jobs online and research companies beforehand. While it’s hard to predict exactly what the future job landscape will look like, you can stay up to date with these constant shifts by subscribing to blogs or news channels. 

Information is key when it comes to understanding what things you could be doing to upskill in the right direction, so register on various job boards and search for your current role to see what key competencies are listed. Take it even further by asking for a position description for more detail and information you can use.

2. Improve your key competencies and personal attributes

Whatever changes we’re likely to see when it comes to roles, your personal attributes, abilities, and behavioural competencies will always be relevant. In addition to learning ability, relationship building and leadership qualities, there will always be a premium placed on people with high levels of emotional intelligence and the ability to adapt to new environments. 

There are some great tools online that can help you to expand your skillset in your spare time. Resources such as MOOC, give you access to a wide variety of personal development courses; from Leadership to Project Management and many more. 

The importance of these skills will never fade, because they cannot be replaced by technology, no matter how much it evolves! Find ways to develop your experience and the technical experience will follow. 

3. Go on that OE

This builds on our earlier point around behavioural competencies being central to the future job landscape. Your experience working with diverse cultures and environments will demonstrate adaptability and resilience. Globalisation has made the world far smaller, but as roles change and develop, it’s a good bet that employers will value people who can demonstrate a global reach.

Aside from a worthwhile holiday, working overseas provides you with the experience of getting to grips with different styles and environments of work. In some of the top destinations for Kiwi travellers, such as the UK, Europe and America, roles are often narrower in scope as the market is bigger. These roles are perfect to help you develop into a subject matter expert, and Kiwis, with their broader skillsets, often stand out as candidates. 

4. Is your current organisation doing all of the above?

While your focus should always be on your ability to upskill, this is underpinned by your organisation’s ability to upskill itself. Look for signs they’re acknowledging the constantly changing state of our job landscape and how their current employees fit into that picture. Are they doing all of the things listed above?

If you’re not with an organisation who is investing in their employees to share knowledge, develop behavioural skills and embrace those with global experience, you’re not giving yourself every advantage to adapt to a future job landscape. This means you’ll likely get left behind with them, and more importantly, you won’t get the chance to be a Drone Classification Analyst!

Summary

With the landscape of technology constantly shifting and new roles emerging, keeping yourself informed with the latest news and trends can give you the ultimate advantage. Now is a great time to acquire new skills and competencies to develop both personally and professionally. 

If you’re interested in learning more about how to upskill yourself and standout as a valuable candidate, get in touch with us for a chat!