The Skills You Should Acquire to Future-Proof Your Career

In the past, factory employees who assembled the same machinery over and over again were the only ones who worried about robots taking over their jobs. At present, even waiters and drivers are caught up in this fear. Today’s entire generation of employees, including high-paying professionals are on the verge of being replaced. The future seems to be uncertain as professionals doubt whether their work would be outsourced or assigned to automation software.

Experts have already predicted that several socio-economic, technological and demographic changes will revolutionize the way our global market is currently operating. This is evidenced by the fact that most of the in-demand skills today, such as SEO marketing and cloud computing, didn’t even exist a decade ago. This implies people who will get to the employable age or want to continue their employment by 2020 or later, must master certain skills to excel in future.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) reveals two-thirds of children starting primary school this year are likely to find themselves taking up jobs that don’t even exist today. Roughly, 45% of the jobs people are assigned to perform today could be automated using future technological reforms. Here are some of the skills you should acquire to future-proof your career.

Thinking Globally
Geographical barriers in certain industries are becoming less relevant. This is why, in the future, your clients, colleagues and stakeholders will most likely be from all parts of the world. A global workforce means dealing with people of different languages, cultures and backgrounds.

For this, you must break conventional work practices that are involved when working with a local team. You must be equipped with the right set of capabilities to work within the international marketplace by:

  • Taking up work assignments that require global exposure
  • Learning a new language
  • Getting to know about diverse cultures

The more you learn about how people work internationally, the more convenient it is to work in the global marketplace.

Even though automation continues to replace most of the jobs that humans once did, creativity is an expression robots fail to bring in. Professional athletes, musicians and actors are the careers that will always be popular no matter how much technology advances.

At this point, it is barely possible for a computer to duplicate creativity. Computers and devices can simply be a channel to express human creativity. Other than that, they are incapable of delivering original ideas and are meant to only replicate manufactured technologies. Visual arts, sports and creativity will always provide a multitude of careers to the coming generations. The key is to learning and becoming an expert at your favorite sport or a creative outlet.

Keeping a Clear Path Open
If you work in a fast growing industry, your company may be investing more time and effort to help you grow personally and professionally. However, this is not the case in every organization. Often, there is no visible or clearly defined growth path for your job in the future. This ends up in frustration and lack of interest.

To fully optimize your potential, you must keep a clear path open. This means you must have an alternative available that comes in handy at the time of a job or career switch. Learning to develop your skill set continuously counts to provide you a clear path for future changes.

Automation involves the use of specific knowledge. While robots are designed to focus on specific tasks, they are good for doing only just that. Nothing less or more is expected from them. As humans, we can improvise and add our own brilliance to every task that we do. This is something robots are incapable of doing. Take the example of a local tour guide. This job is highly unlike to be replaced by a robot that can answer thousands of questions but cannot add its own opinion to a statement.

Make-up artists, florists and hairdressers excel at what they do as they improvise and make spontaneous decision that robots are currently unable to make. Learn a skill that requires constant innovation and a human touch so you never go out of work.

Computers are good for basic interactions, such as customer service and answering machine systems. However, professions, which employ empathy and compassion, are not likely to be taken over by automation. Professions, such as nurses, therapists, anesthesiologists, dentists, fitness trainers, firefighters, police officers and veterinarians, will still be present in future. Teachers, nutritionists and fitness trainers are also unlikely to be replaced. Master a skill that helps you fit into one of these professions to secure your future career.

Technical Expertise
Automated systems are already making their way into our lives. They will naturally continue to do in future. Robots and automation systems can take over our responsibilities. Sadly, they can do little to repair themselves.

This means that even if an AI system is designed to carry out bookkeeping for a company, there will still be a need of an accountant to check for any system errors. Similarly, computers will be completely transformed in future but programmers, QA professionals and networking experts will be required to oversee their performance. This is why professionals who will support automation in several ways will be highly sought-after in future markets.

Finally, the people who design, invent and create robots and automation software will be employed more in future. Big data scientists, programmers, engineers and medical experts will be hired by big corporations to devise customized strategies to automate their processes. You should know your field of interest for becoming an expert in a particular niche.

Building a Professional Network
When you have an inspiring leader or mentor at work or within your network, you are offered a free opportunity to learn new skills and strategies from him or her. Build a professional network if you are an amateur or a professional. A network career that comprises of successful people pertaining to your field of interest also helps you get favorable referrals.

This strengthens your authority in your chosen field as well as adds credibility to your profile. You should not be intruding their personal space. Rather, showcase your portfolio or online presence with your connections to allow future collaborations.

Start by:
  • Joining professional networks.
  • Keeping track of former colleagues and bosses.
  • Participating in relationship building opportunities, such as seminars and webinars.
  • Collecting the contact details of the people you meet within your field.

A good network today will help you grab fruitful opportunities tomorrow.

Experts believe the people who will be most exposed to changes caused by increasing use of machines include construction workers, factory line workers and mechanics whose jobs entail performing routine tasks. Whether you speculate if your job is at risk or not, becoming proficient in any of the above core competencies can aid in your transition and help you stay on course for achieving a solid career where your skills are always in demand.

Professionals who will be less affected are those in non-routine positions, such as professions involving creativity, problem solving, health care, management, technical staff or engineers.

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