What do the careers of the future look like? The truth is, no one knows for sure but we do have a pretty good idea based on what is going on now and how quickly things have changed in just the last few years. Taking that information and projecting it forward, we can get a fairly good picture of what the future of work may bring and how we can start preparing for some of these eventualities right now. Here are five tricks to start preparing for the career of the future today.
1. The Need for Soft Skills
No matter how well we, as a society, prepare for the careers of the future the inevitability is that there will be a skills gap that companies and entire industries will deal with. There will be a certain number of jobs that require a certain level of technical skills and there won’t be enough workers to fill them. This is why companies will start hiring based more on soft skills.
Soft skills are any skills that do not have to do with the technical aspect of the job. They are about how you work, not what you do for work. Some of the most in-demand soft skills include things like the ability to collaborate, being creative, time-management skills, or being flexible and adaptable.
Companies have found more and more that hard skills can be taught while soft skills cant which is why they are becoming so valuable for the careers of the future. If you focus on developing these skills, you will be ready for whatever unexpected opportunity comes your way and ready to advance your career the right way.
2. Learn Cultural Intelligence
The world is becoming more and more connected all the time. No longer do most businesses simply rely on local, regional, or even national companies or consumers to buy from or sell to. The world marketplace is where the most successful companies in the future will operate and employees who can navigate this marketplace with cultural understanding and sensibility will be highly valued.
In addition to doing business on a global scale, the workplace is only going to get more diverse in the coming years. As companies push to create more heterogeneous hierarchies, being able to understand, empathize, and work well with other cultures is going to be incredibly important and valued.
Learning about other cultures, traveling, studying abroad, and doing as much as you can to interact with people who are culturally different than yourself is an important way to start preparing for these careers of the future. People who do not step out of what they know and interact with the world will be left behind.
3. Start Familiarizing Yourself Artificial Intelligence
The “4th industrial revolution” is upon us. There have been 3 earlier industrial revolutions throughout history. The first was created when water and steam power emerged, then electricity, then automation. Now, artificial intelligence is the 4th iteration of these revolutions.
AI will dominate the future as we know it. The Internet of Things (IoT), smart robotics, 3D printing, and other AI-driven technologies will completely change the way we live and work in the next decade. These things will have a dramatic effect on every industry and every career in the future. Careers of the Future is AI.
The more you learn about what AI is, how it is used, and what the possibilities for it are, the better prepared you will be for the careers of the future. If you are not a developer already and want to learn more about artificial intelligence, this list of the best artificial intelligence books to read in 2020 from Digital Authority Partners is a great place to start.
4. Become Digitally Literate
No one knows exactly what the new technology used for the careers of the future will look like. All we know is that there will be a lot of it. As virtual collaboration and telecommuting become more of the norm, there will be more and more technology engrained in our everyday work life. Being comfortable using this technology will be a “must”.
The best way to prepare yourself for whatever work-related technology is on its way is to become digitally literate. Being digitally literate means taking the time to understand the latest technology and what it is used for. You don’t have to be an expert on all things at all times but being digitally literate will make it much easier to pick things up and use them if and when the time comes that you need to.
To do this, all you need to do is make an effort to keep up with technology. Read about it, ask questions to those who use it, and if you get the chance to use it yourself, take advantage of that opportunity. This will make all the difference when a future opportunity comes that uses some type of new technology and you can say you at least know about it.
5. Be a Lifelong Learner
We are in an era where technologies and the way we work are changing faster than ever. What is true today may be outdated tomorrow and that will be outdated the day after that. When the professional world changes so fast, it can be easy to feel like there is nothing you can do to be prepared. That is why making yourself into a lifelong learner is so important.
No longer is the “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” excuse valid. In our parent’s generation, the way people worked changed gradually over time. Now, we have already gone through several seismic shifts in the way we work in just the last 20 years. Those who do not adapt and learn new things will be left behind as this pace of change will only quicken.
Being a lifelong learner can mean many things. It can be being open to additional education at any age or point of your career. It can be learning new skills or new technology on your own. It can even mean simply picking people’s brains in your field when given the chance to expand your knowledge base. Whatever being a lifelong learner looks like to you, the more you can be one, the better off you will be in the future.