I spoke last time about how the world of work is becoming a whole lot more uncertain with the accelerating pace of technological development, the rise of AI and a move towards the “gig” economy where fewer and fewer people will have secure, full-time permanent jobs.
Although these factors combined might be somewhat alarming to contemplate, there are some measures we can take to help give ourselves the best chance of negotiating our way through these uncertain times.
Take more responsibility for managing your own career
The days of guaranteed jobs and linear career progression within organisations are over. It’s highly unlikely any of us will be working in one place long enough to earn that gold watch and there’s no one looking after our career or creating a neat, predictable career pathway for us.
Nowadays we need to be more proactive in managing our own careers, rather than waiting for promotions and opportunities to come to us. Keeping yourself progressing, looking out for (and creating) opportunities, and developing and maintaining your networks – these are all part of the modern world of work. Of course this isn’t new, it’s just that more and more of us need to do it as a matter of course.
It’s estimated that somewhere between 70 – 80% of jobs are not advertised, so how can you tap into this “hidden” job market? Here’s what I have to say about that:
- Tap your networks – personal and professional. Who might know of opportunities in the area you want to work in?
- Do your research. I tell my clients to treat looking for a job as a job in its own right. Think about which industries and organisations might value your skillset and experience. How can you approach them? What would they need to know about you to know that you can add value? Yes it might be what’s written on your CV, but a proposal might be more effective in some cases. Get comfortable with the idea of approaching them rather than waiting for jobs to be advertised.
- Make sure you have an up to date and professional-looking LinkedIn profile to help give credibility.
- Research recruiters in your area and find out which ones work with people in your industry/role. Develop a good relationship with several so that they keep you “top of mind” for any opportunities on the horizon.
Be prepared for lots of career change
I have worked with many people wanting to make career change (and I have been there and done that several times myself). Who knows how many different roles or careers our children will get to experience in their working lives! How can you ensure that you are light on your feet? Is there a trend you can see coming down the pipeline in the industry you’re working in that you can mould your career towards? Or do you want to jump ship and move into another area? Is there another industry that could use your skills? It can be helpful to think of your career as something fluid and organic rather than something static and fixed, that way when the changes come (and we know they will) you’ll find it easier to adapt.
Keep an eye on what’s happening in the world of work
Which industries and roles are in decline and which are on the rise? If you’re studying, training, retraining or up-skilling to enhance your career, it’s important to be realistic about the potential opportunities for employment going forward. Other than for interest’s sake, there’s no point investing in training and development if it’s in an area in decline.
Get used to the idea of re-skilling and up-skilling
The need to study and train throughout the course of our lives is becoming increasingly important. Gaining qualifications and learning new skills will need to be ongoing – not just at school or shortly thereafter. With so much change happening so fast more and more jobs require keeping up with new developments and adapting to changing requirements.
Build your confidence in what you have to offer
From time to time take stock of your career aims, goals and achievements. Invest in your personal and professional development to keep growing and developing your skills and abilities. Keep your CV updated after each job and when you gain new skills or qualifications. This means that you’ll be ready for any opportunity that arises, with the added bonus of noticing your career progression and building your confidence in what you can offer a potential employer.
If your career could do with a bit of a tune-up, you want to make a career change or develop your confidence to go for something new and different, get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org