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The current coronavirus pandemic has turned normal, everyday life on its head. The impact of the virus on public health is, of course, the most significant concern. Still, there is no denying that the economic impact is also having a devastating effect on people’s lives throughout the world. For many people, Covid-19 has led to significant changes in their working life. Many companies are fighting to stay afloat right now, and this, unfortunately, has resulted in job losses, and staff being furloughed.
In these uncertain times, you may be reconsidering your career options, and looking for ways to increase your employability. Re-assessing your career is a wise thing to do to protect your livelihood in these uncertain circumstances. There is currently a significant disparity between Covid-19’s impact on industries. If you work in an industry that is feeling the effects of the recent changes, taking the time to consider your career options is a smart idea for your own peace of mind.
Some industries, such as the airline industry and hospitality industry, have faced severe decline. Right across the world, flights have been grounded, and hotels and restaurants remain closed in many areas. The sudden escalation of the crisis has resulted in an almost overnight shut down of these industries. Unfortunately, this has put many thousands of jobs at risk, and the prospect of an uncertain future lies ahead. Conversely, other sectors, particularly online retail, have experienced a boom in sales and unprecedented demand for their products. Amazon and other internet-based retailers have seen their sales skyrocket as closures of bricks and mortar stores have led to a massive spike in online shopping.
If there is one thing that the business world can learn from this crisis, it is that technology is vital to keep industries afloat. Our reliance on technology has never been greater than it is at the moment. Without the internet, there is no doubt that an even larger number of businesses would be unable to operate. Cloud-based computing, video conferencing technology, and e-commerce stores are no longer just a convenient option; they are essential to keeping businesses running right now.
Consider Your Options
Future-proofing your career is all about assessing your options and understanding your current position. Think back over the past twenty years, or even just the past decade, and you will see that many careers that once provided a job for life are now obsolete. While no one can predict the future, (as the current situation aptly demonstrates), it is wise to think about how relevant your career will be in a few years from now, and whether your current job will even exist. Thinking about the future will ensure that you are ready and waiting to respond to changes. It is far better to be proactive and examine your career options now than wait until your services are no longer required.
When considering your career options, it is wise to focus your attention on industries that are seeing sustained growth. Industries that focus on technology and computing are a safe bet for the future, as they are continually evolving, and the majority of sectors are in some way dependent on technology and computing. Careers in these fields are incredibly varied, so researching career options in these industries could reveal exciting possibilities that you have never considered in the past.
Know Your Strengths
Understanding your areas of strength will make it far easier for you to find a career that aligns with your skills, and will ultimately lead to greater job satisfaction. Using your skills and strengths to their full potential is essential when trying to future-proof your career, as these are your most employable characteristics. If you are unsure what your strengths are, try to think about the aspects of your job that you enjoy the most, as these are likely to be the areas that you perform at your best. Asking for feedback on your strengths from colleagues, friends, and family can provide you with some helpful insights.
Once you have identified your strengths, this information can be used to explore possible career choices in the industries of the future. For example, if you are someone that loves to examine data and problem solve, then you may have the skills needed for a career as a business analyst within the rapidly developing world of customer relationship management (CRM) technology. If you are interested in pursuing a career at the forefront of emerging technology and have experience and skills in machine learning, training to become an Artificial Intelligence Architect could be an excellent choice for you.
Identifying your skills and strengths and then applying these to a job role in a future-proof industry is an excellent way to secure your career for many years to come and to be at the forefront of change.
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Whether you left high school two years ago, or two decades ago, there is never an endpoint where your learning should stop. Continually developing your skills and increasing your qualifications will ensure that you are never left behind. Having up-to-date, relevant qualifications will mean that you never risk lacking the knowledge needed to progress your career, and to put yourself forward for a new role.
It is never too late to return to studying and to acquire the skills needed to secure your chosen career. In fact, increasing the level of your qualifications at any stage of your career refreshes your knowledge, and can breathe new life into your job prospects. Gaining additional qualifications increases your appeal to potential employers. You will have not only many years of experience, but also the most up-to-date qualifications and knowledge, which is a winning combination.
Seek New Opportunities
Being open to new opportunities is vital to future-proofing your career. Being inflexible and resistant to change could see you get left behind, and your skills and knowledge become outdated. Instead, it is far more beneficial to adopt a growth mindset and to be open to the changes that come your way. Having a growth mindset and a willingness to adapt to a changing world will ensure that your skills are always relevant, whether you are just starting out in your career or heading towards retirement. You are far more likely to spot career opportunities and embrace them when they come along if you are positive about change and are continually updating your skills and knowledge.
Knowledge and industry-specific skills are essential, but the power of connecting with people should never be overlooked. Building up a network of industry contacts will help to future-proof your career and will ensure that you get noticed. Networking and meeting new people raises your profile and puts you on potential employer’s radar. Networking within your industry increases the likelihood of you being approached by employers when job opportunities arise. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to colleagues on training courses, and to start making valuable connections where you can. You may choose to join the professional body for your industry, so that you can increase your connections, attend valuable training courses, and stay up to date with all the latest developments in your field, and how the industry is performing as a whole.
Achieving career longevity is all about saying up to date with the latest industry knowledge, making professional connections, and continually developing your skills and qualifications. Following these tips and maintaining a positive attitude toward change, are the best ways to future-proof your career, and ensure that your professional expertise is always in demand.