The job market today is increasingly volatile, with rapid developments in technology such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotics threatening many traditional careers and manual tasks. To stay ahead of the curve and future-proof your career you need to be abreast of trends in the marketplace and upskill to meet these changes. Let’s look at 5 simple and practical things you can start doing today to have the right skill sets to ensure your job security now and in the future.
Develop Adaptability and Soft Skills
Developing soft skills such as communication and problem-solving enables you to add more value to organisations.
Learn communication skills and enhance your emotional intelligence by reading books on the topics and engaging in role-playing activities with your friends and colleagues.
Attend personal development workshops and improve your public speaking skills by joining clubs such as Toastmasters. This will build your confidence and your people skills.
You can also build your problem-solving skills through puzzles and real-life scenario enactments.
These skills will enable you to collaborate with diverse teams and navigate dynamic work environments effectively. By becoming more resilient and capable of navigating change you secure your career within a fast-moving world.
Engage in Continuous Learning and Online Courses
Enrol in online courses that align with your career goals. Platforms like Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, and Udemy offer a wide range of courses across different disciplines. You can pick classes based on your schedule especially if you pick self-learning programmes.
Consider setting aside a few hours each week to study, complete course models and assignments. The secret to completing these courses is blocking out certain hours and honouring the commitment.
If your career goals are in the food, pharma, and Medtech industries for example then upskilling through courses in advanced high-tech manufacturing is a smart move.
You must stay updated on emerging trends within your industry by subscribing to relevant industry newsletters and forums.
Network and Join Professional Associations
A robust network of professional individuals will open up mentorship and career-change opportunities for you. To foster professional networks attend industry conferences, webinars, and local networking events.
Join relevant online forums and groups such as LinkedIn groups and industry-specific online communities. These platforms will allow you to connect with professionals in your field, share insights and find mentors. They will also keep you abreast of all industry trends so you can align your upskilling efforts with them.
In case you are not sure how to network, set a goal to attend at least one networking event every quarter. You can also dedicate time each week to engage with members of your online communities through discussions and sharing valuable content.
Embrace Digital Skills
According to research done in 2020 by the World Economic Forum, digital skills are crucial in today’s job market. For example, if you are a copywriter with knowledge of HTML you will have more opportunities to grow in your career.
You can start learning these skills on online self-paced tutorials and interactive platforms such as Codeacademy for coding and Google Analytics Academy for digital marketing.
Where possible, consider community college classes and local workshops that offer hands-on experience.
Allocate time in the evening, or on weekends to learn digital skills. Set aside time to practice what you learn on personal projects or by assisting friends and small local businesses.
Engage in Side Projects and Volunteer Work
Engaging in side projects and volunteer work allows you to practice old skills and test new ones to comfortably execute them at a place of work.
Identify community centres, local Non-profit organisations, or online businesses where you can offer your expertise. Dedicate some of your free time such as weekends and evenings to work on your side projects.
Set a goal to complete at least one side project or volunteer initiative every six months. Document your experiences and outcomes and showcase these on your portfolio and resume.