With the onset of digitalisation and a global way of thinking, we are no longer bound to a single way of doing something. From shopping and travelling, to catching a cab, ordering food online and even dating – the way we go about our day-to-day lives is constantly evolving. We’re also seeing the rise of companies such as Uber, Netflix, Airbnb and Ali Express – organisations without physical products of their own – who are changing the way our world operates. Naturally, this impacts some of the more traditional methods of doing business, with hotels, taxis and your typical ‘brick and mortar’ stores having to adapt to stay competitive.
When we consider our own careers and the impact of digitalisation, are we likely to see similar changes happening? After all, we’re already seeing some tasks being automated with the assistance of AI. With the speed that digital transformation is occurring, there is a risk that in five or ten years, some jobs will no longer exist in their current state. Although change can be challenging for many of us, adapting to the shifting job landscape is going to be crucial in the coming years.
Adapting to Change
Whilst automation will inevitably make some jobs or tasks redundant, there are various ways to keep yourself ahead of the game and future proof your career by responding to change in the workplace. Being adaptable to the fact that tech is changing will help here. For example, what are you aiming to achieve in the next 5-10 years? How does your dream job stack up to the way technology is developing, how might it be affected over time, and what can be done to stay ahead of the coming changes?
Obviously, university degrees are still valuable, but today you need a lot more on your CV than just qualifications. Employers are looking for candidates with a potential for business acumen, the ability to work in a team and strong communication, leadership and relationship building skills. These ‘soft skills’ are more important than ever and will play a major role in your future career opportunities.
For those coming out of studies, rather than purely relying on grades, it’s important to show that you can be proactive, whether that’s through tutoring, joining university groups or securing an internship.
Finding a mentor is a great way to hone your soft skills too. Ideally, you’ll want someone who is not a direct Manager as it is essential to be able to discuss (in confidence) any challenges you’re facing in your team or role.
Remember that while a degree or qualification will certainly aid you, it is not enough to future proof your career. At the end of the day, you will still need to show many of the competencies and soft skills discussed above to get you across the line and secure a job that will withstand the changing times.
The Ongoing Struggle for Talent
In our 2018 Economic & Labour Report, business leaders across New Zealand gave us a unique perspective of NZ’s business environment. In our 2018 survey, 44% of respondents noted that a lack of talent was one of the biggest barriers to ongoing success in their organisations, showing that this remains a major problem for New Zealand businesses on the whole. This clearly demonstrates that, with organisations in dire need of talent, the opportunities for you to grow and get promoted are ample. However, you cannot simply wait for them to come to you – embracing change means you have to be proactive and create them for yourself.
Digital transformation is here to stay, and whilst we can’t predict exactly how this will affect the employment market in future – the skills discussed earlier will go a long way towards adapting to change in the workplace.
If you would like to discuss your career path, or for support in your temporary job search, get in touch with our team here.