The world is changing at an extremely rapid rate. All sorts of jobs that still exist now are under threat, and people are worried about how best to prepare themselves for the changes that are inevitably coming. Many of these changes have been ushered in by the age of the internet. For older people and those who do not have great technological abilities, all of these changes have presented huge challenges. So, for you to be the most prepared for what the future will hold, you need to make a clear plan of action. Not sure where to get started? The following blog post is all about some of the steps you can take to best prepare yourself for the horizon changes.
Research Where Job Growth is Expected
If you are at the beginning of your career or looking to shift into a new area, it is worth sitting down and doing some research to see where the world is heading. Ideally, you will choose a sector in which job growth is expected to occur. If you choose how a decrease is likely, you will find yourself fighting for fewer positions, which can produce a great deal of stress and anxiety. There are several areas in which growth is expected, but many of these revolve around technology in one way or another. Even if you are not planning on changing career path, you can still look into how you can upskill your abilities and put yourself in the best possible position to move forward.
Pursue Cutting-Edge Degree Programs and Courses
You may be at the stage that you are ready to take a degree or even a further qualification such as a data science postgraduate degree. Of course, not everyone is interested in tech-based subjects, but even if you plan to take an arts-based subject, it is still worth researching the institution thoroughly to ensure that it will provide everything you expect of it. The internet has made it easier than ever to compare and contrast the different universities and everything that they have to offer. It is also worth looking at their connections with big employers to see if there is a clear stepping-stone available that gets you into the career that you are looking at pursuing. Perhaps you are not at the stage where you are ready to commit to a degree program. In this situation, you may want to take on a course of another description. You still need to take the steps that ensure a high quality of education – no matter where you are going to receive it.
Take on Learning Opportunities
There are many times in life that learning opportunities present themselves. It could be from the further research opportunities that you have while studying at school or university. This can help you to pursue a particular area that interests you greatly. Alternatively, you can use these to improve your so-called soft skills, which employers also highly value. Perhaps you would like to boost your critical thinking, your oral presentation skills, or your communication. Other learning opportunities include co-ops and internships, which can help complement studies and improve your chances of getting a good job placement after graduating. Any experience that you can get under your belt is great experience and reflects well on your resume, remember this as you look at short-term opportunities that might become available, especially in the current climate. A little of something is better than nothing at all.
Start a Business of Your Own
Starting a business provides you with a fantastic opportunity to take on skills that you would never have learnt elsewhere. When you start a company on your own, you have to take on all sorts of responsibilities that you would never have had to in a traditional job role. This may be a business that you run on the side of your main career, or it could be something that takes more of your time. Perhaps you build it to the stage that you would like to sell it and move back into a career. Employers often value the people who have set up their own companies as they know what they have been through and the skills that they have undoubtedly picked up along the way. Not only this, but you equip yourself with certain skills that you can always fall back on should you want to set up another company further down the line.
Work on Your Soft Skills
We mentioned soft skills a little earlier in the blog post. Unlike other skills that have the potential to ‘date’ and become obsolete, soft skills will stand the test of time and will continue to be relevant for years to come. Several abilities come under the umbrella term of ‘soft skills’ such as communication, teamwork, leadership, and critical thinking. While some of these skills will come naturally to you, there are plenty more that will need work throughout your career. There are several different ways of boosting them. First, you can take courses or even hire a one-on-one coach who can identify your strengths and weaknesses, helping you to accentuate the former and work on the latter. Many people are afraid of their weaknesses as they cause them anxiety or shame, but if you tackle them head-on, you make yourself much more employable and ready for tomorrow’s careers. If you do not want to go down a formal studying route, you could always ask a friend to help you out. For example, if you want to boost your presentation skills, you could practice on them and ask for detailed feedback. Of course, you need to choose someone whose opinions you trust!
When you work in a single country throughout your life, it is all too easy to become set in your ways. Moving abroad at some point in your life is something that everyone who has the opportunity should do. You gain so much from this experience, such as an appreciation of different cultures, a greater understanding of issues worldwide, and a unique insight into global commerce, and international affairs. You also have the opportunity to learn a new language, which is also a great way of preparing yourself for a world in which people around the world continue to do business with one another. There are several ways in which you can take up an opportunity in a new country. It could be part of a year abroad program in your degree. Maybe the company that you work for has a foreign office that you could move to. Alternatively, you could seek out an opportunity off your own back. No matter what skills you possess, there is bound to be another country out there that is on the lookout for you.
Focus on Areas Outside of Work
The employers of tomorrow will also be on the lookout for people who are well-rounded individuals who make an impact in their local communities. The most obvious way that you can do this is via volunteer work. Not only does this show that you are a responsible person, but it also gives you a different understanding and appreciation of the world that can prove to be useful in all sorts of different ways. The hobbies and clubs you are involved in can also give further credibility to your resume. Not only this, but they may also present you with transferrable skills that you never knew about before. You may also take on a senior role in one of these organizations, which can exercise some of your soft skills such as leadership, planning, and organization.
Learn Another Language
We have already touched upon how useful learning another language can be in your career. Even businesses operating in their own country may well find themselves expanding into international markets at some point in the future. So, if you only speak English, now is the perfect opportunity to pick up another tongue. Ideally, it will be in a language that will be most useful, such as Chinese or Spanish. There are several ways in which you can accelerate this language learning. There are all sorts of apps out there that can help you out, but it also useful to speak to a native speaker of the language. Perhaps you could organize a language exchange of some description in which the other person wants to brush up on their English language skills. This way, you may be able to pick up another language at no cost to yourself at all!
Commit to Lifelong Learning
While some people believe that learning is something that stops from the moment that you leave school, there are plenty more who believe that you should always be picking up new knowledge and skills wherever you can find them. The advent of the internet has made it easier than ever to learn any subject under the sun from the comfort of your very own home. While some of the things you want to learn will be directly related to your career, there will also be more generalized. This does not mean that they are not also useful. It is always worth opening up new corridors in your mind whenever and wherever this is possible.
Keep a Sense of Curiosity About the World
The world is an endlessly fascinating place, and you can never learn everything that there is to know about it. Maintaining your sense of curiosity is closely linked to the lifelong learning point that we have already discussed in the section just about this one. If you are continually curious, you will seek out the world’s changes as they occur and be willing and able to adapt to them. However, if you shelter yourself off inside your own little bubble, you are less likely to be ready and willing to embrace all of the opportunities that will inevitably arise in the not-too-distant future. If you feel like your curiosity about the world has somewhat waned, there are plenty of ways that you can stoke up this desire once again. These can range from taking a long-term degree program to simply picking up a book and seeing what world you are transported to by the author.
Keep Your Resume Fresh
There is nothing that puts off employers more than a resume that looks out of date and in desperate need of a bit of tender loving care. So, as you accomplish more feats in life and learn new skills, you need to make sure that you write about them and condense them in a way that makes people want to hire you. At the same time, you will need to remove items from your CV from time to time as you still need to keep it short and snappy. Also, the older you get, the less likely it is that people will want to read about your school awards and trophies! If you are bored with your old resume, why not try running it through some design software to bring it up to date with color and flair?
Preparing for tomorrow’s careers is all about keeping up with current trends and making sure that your own skills and knowledge matches them as closely as possible. The people who are always willing to improve themselves wherever possible are the ones who are most likely to be always employable, as well as those who will attain the best positions in life. Of course, an element of this involves risk-taking of some degree. If you stay in your own comfort zone, you will not achieve the personal growth required for the opportunities that arise in the future. While it can certainly be very daunting when the world changes at such a rapid rate, as long as you are ready for these alterations as they occur, you do not have anything to worry about, and you can even look forward to embracing the new opportunities that are available to you.