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The world of work is in constant evolution. Are you adapting to the shift?

A recent report from Dell Technologies suggests a startling forecast: 85% of the jobs anticipated for 2030 haven’t been conceived yet. Professions such as urban farming specialists, smart city analysts, and virtual fashion designers are just a few examples of what the future might hold.

So, how does one maintain their relevance in the ever-evolving job market? How do you adapt to swift industry changes and prepare for the unknown future? Here are eight strategies to ensure you're always ahead in your career game.

#1. Identify and Overcome Your Skills Gap

The "skills gap" is the difference between the capabilities job seekers currently have and what employers actually desire. Several factors have contributed to this discrepancy:

  • Rapid Technological Progress: Emerging technologies constantly reshape various sectors, amplifying the demand for niche skills. This rapid evolution often finds businesses scrambling to adapt.
  • Shifting Job Descriptions and Market Necessities: The job market is fluid, with certain skills becoming redundant and new ones becoming indispensable.
  • Constraints of the Education System: Traditional educational institutions might not always equip students with the blend of technical and soft skills that modern employers crave.

Industries like IT, healthcare, manufacturing and engineering, construction, and digital marketing are particularly affected due to their requirement for highly specialised or quickly changing skills.

To bridge this gap, begin by understanding industry patterns. Stay updated with the latest trends in your sector. This will give you insights into which skills need enhancement. Strategically upskill to bridge these gaps, propelling your career forward.

#2. Enhance Your Soft Skills

Despite the surge in automation, soft skills remain irreplaceable. A study from Harvard University indicates that soft skills contribute to 85% of work success.

Three pivotal soft skills for futureproofing your career are:

  • Flexibility and Adaptability: The job market is volatile. Being agile is key.
  • Preparedness for Varied Work Styles: The traditional 9-5 job structure is evolving. Be ready for diverse work formats, including project-based and part-time roles.
  • Proactiveness and Initiative: These qualities are always prized, particularly in competitive industries.

Additionally, a Microsoft study emphasised the importance of nurturing personal connections to foster team spirit, even in remote setups. Effective communication remains vital, especially for leadership roles.

#3. Diversify Your Skill Set

The global accessibility of education has made career versatility more attainable. Embrace opportunities to dabble in various roles, both within and outside your primary industry. 

Cross-industry expertise, for instance, can open doors to roles like bio-pharmacologists, IT geneticists, clinical bioinformaticians, medical robot operators, or healthy aging consultants for someone with a background in pharmacy who learns IT.

#4. Cultivate a Personal Brand

Strengthen your online visibility. Become a recognised voice in your field. Platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are invaluable for networking and showcasing your unique perspective.

Begin with a SWOT analysis, which will help you identify and amplify your strengths online while mitigating your weaknesses. Understand your niche expertise and communicate that effectively. Reflect on the tangible benefits of a strong personal brand, be it offering expert consultations, positioning yourself as a CEO with standout leadership qualities, or launching a course with an established reputation.

swot analysis

#5. Get Certified

Certifications enhance your professional appeal. They validate your expertise, giving you an edge in the job market. A survey by Cisco involving 200+ IT hiring managers globally found that certified professionals were often perceived as more competent and accountable.

Every profession has its valued certifications. For instance, project managers often opt for PMI credentials, HR specialists seek HRCI certification, and business analysts might pursue IIBA certifications like ECBA or CBAP.

#6. Seek a Personal Mentor

Having a mentor can be transformative for your career, and here's why:

  • Mentors Propel Professional Growth: With a mentor's support, you can remain focused on your career trajectory and achieve your aspirations. Their feedback not only helps you mature professionally but also empowers you to steer your career in the direction you envision.
  • Mentors Guide in Goal Setting: They can help you crystallise and frame your primary objectives using the SMART criteria:
    – Specific
    – Measurable
    – Achievable
    – Relevant
    – Time-bound.
  • A defined goal provides clarity and purpose. Interestingly, a survey highlighted that 93% of professionals acknowledged the pivotal role of goal-setting in their work accomplishments.
  • Mentors Ensure Accountability: Once you've established your goals, mentors assist you in devising incremental steps to attain them. This guidance ensures you remain on track in your career advancement efforts.
  • Mentors Enhance Confidence and Problem-Solving Skills: They bring a fresh perspective that can be key in altering counterproductive habits or mindsets. The outcome? Enhanced overall well-being and self-assurance. Additionally, mentors can act as a sounding board, enabling you to refine your ideas, subsequently honing your problem-solving prowess.

#7. Update Your CV Periodically

Rather than revisiting your CV only during job transitions, keep it current. Regular updates ensure you're always ready for new opportunities. A fresh CV paints a comprehensive picture of your career trajectory, aiding in goal setting for future endeavours.

While opinions vary on the frequency of updates, a good practice is to refresh your CV whenever there's a major change in your career. Typically, a quick 20-30 minute review is sufficient to keep it relevant.

#8. Ponder Your Career's Future 

Even if you're deeply committed to your current job and have been for an extended period, it's prudent to stay prepared—after all, career dynamics can shift rapidly. Reflect on what might be your subsequent move in the industry. Initiating this thought process early on can pave the way for smoother transitions if and when you decide to explore new job horizons.

Before signing off, if you're seeking guidance in your career, consider exploring ELVTR. It's a platform where you can acquire the most sought-after skills and professions dominating the job market—like gaming & game development, AI & ML, data science, and project & product management. Engage in live sessions, delve into practical exercises linked to lectures, and benefit from personalised feedback on assignments from seasoned instructors!