The changes ringing through the working world due to the advance of technology may threaten some jobs, while enhancing others. The key to succeeding as the new world descends is the ability to analyse the potential employment arena of the future. Too many young people spend years studying without any thought beyond the fact that at the end of their efforts they will have a degree. How employable this will make them, may not be properly considered.
But it’s not only the nature of work that will change, but also the way we perceive work. Communication has become so easy that we can engage anywhere, anytime. We are able to build communities, collaborate, access information, and shape our personal experiences – all at the touch of a button. This new behaviour is influencing the way companies work; in fact influencing whether they need to provide work at all, or what type of work that might be if they do.
Robots and software are providing rethink on jobs that humans used to do; how customers interact with us; and how information connects anywhere, on any device. This impacts on exactly how valuable an employee might be. The new millennium idea that qualified people are going to be highly sought after, is looking a little tarnished in the light of new developments. It is vital now to look at what is required by the company of your choice, rather than thinking that most companies will be desperate for your shiny CV.
Some people may need to adapt by changing their studies midstream, or embarking on new qualifications as soon as they can. Adaptability is now the name of the game; don’t settle, keep learning, and keep your eye on the ball because there are few jobs now offering security for life.
Work is going global
Boundaries matter less because you can work anywhere, and from anywhere. For many companies, the key factors to employment will not only be the ability to do the job required, but also the ability to communicate at a high level with people from many backgrounds and cultures. Currently English fluency stands as a prize attribute – but keep looking because the technology to communicate across the board in many languages is almost with us. By the end of this decade, employees will use avatars, language software, conversational interfaces, and real-time dialect translation to work and speak with team members.
Middle management may suffer in this process – because direct communication between team members, and teams across the world, will become the norm. Team spirit and collaboration will be considered valued attributes. Working hours will blur, autonomy and trust will become the watchwords, and people will be judged on their own discipline and productivity.
The smart imagination
The demand for digital skills is growing – but it is a fluctuating landscape and constant upskilling and digital capability will outweigh tenure and experience. Creativity and cognitive abilities will be highly valued. Businesses will be continually shifting into new business models and ventures, and employees will have to keep up the pace of change to remain relevant. In this constantly refocusing world, the permanency of jobs may come under pressure, thus an eye for new developments and fresh study opportunities should never pass you by. We will all become part of a continuous learning process.
- Imagine your computer or some associated gadgetry telling you that you’ve been working too long and need to recharge your batteries?
- Imagine a company that works to incorporate those workers who are not as digitally competent as others?
- Imagine AI, smart software and robots used strategically to drive competitive advantages?
- And imagine being able to work to influence causes you care about? Being able to tie the value of your work to a purpose and passion?
Keeping stock – and keeping grounded
The drawback of this new kind of remote working company, this network of digital connection, is that people may become disassociated, disengaged and lonely. However, enormous opportunities then present themselves for other people to provide spaces for congregation, interaction and conversation – work spaces that can also act as social gatherings with interesting talks and information on tap. Working relationships may change, but collaboration and close contribution will still remain key.
The most important thing is to acknowledge that these changes will come, prepare for them, and find ways to beat the downsides so that motivation, innovation and focus will continually drive us forward to reach goals and achieve success.