As workforce of the next century, we need to occasionally sit down and figure out how to enhance our employability. If we don’t, we will constantly be trying to figure out how to stay merely employed. Here’s the difference; When we wonder, “Where are the jobs?” we are focused on merely staying employed. But when we focus on discovering new ways to apply our talents and interests to what is currently shaping the world, that’s thinking about staying employable for the future. Doing the latter will keep you relevant, which means you’re less likely to be in that constant state of asking, “where’s my next job?”
Yes, this takes time and research. And yes, the workforce will keep changing — probably mostly because of technology. But it will lead to enlightening discovery that then leads you to a way to stay employable throughout the rest of your career. You should be looking at trends and asking questions that focus on what work will be needed as a result of those trends. They include “retrofitting”, adding new skills to an existing job or incorporating new trends and social changes into a current job.
One example might be the successful plumber who has mastered all the new water-flow sensor technology and pipefitting innovations vs. another plumbers who just know the basics. The latter plumber will find himself in a less desirable position as compared
‘Retrofit’ to Stay Relevant
To examine how to retrofit your career, ask yourself these questions:
- How are technological trends and social changes affecting my career?
- What new skills and knowledge can I add to my line of work to support the growth of the above-mentioned trends?
- Can I incorporate these new trends into my current work, and if so, how?
Here’s an example of a career transition from military to civilian work.
Blend to Create New Specialty
We can also explore the idea of blending skills and knowledge, making a connection among two or more separate industries. You can do this by combining transferable skills or functions from different jobs or industries to create new specialties.
A typical example in Singapore would be professionals who later in their career, opted to join the training industry. These groups of individuals blended past experiences, skills and knowledge so that they can create new specialties and provide a more holistic facilitation in their training assignments.
Ask yourself: What skills, interests and talents do I have that I can blend into a new specialty that fits a growing need?
Look to Solve Problems
The third approach is good old problem solving, it is actually fundamentally very entrepreneurial. Looking at problems people will face and come up with new roles and functions to help solve them.
Take the problems the communications age has brought, including privacy and security. As a result, one growing area is digital footprint management, monitoring and managing electronic information about individuals or even corporations.
Ask yourself: As trends develop and new problems arise as a result, what services will be needed to support customers and businesses? Which ones interest me?
Start asking yourself these questions. Be employable!
Anfernee Tan | Operations Director, biipmi Pte Ltd
Anfernee Tan is the Co-founder and also the Chief Editor of biipmi.print. He oversees all marketing initiatives for content and channel optimization across multiple networks to drive engagement, retention, leads and positive experience for the individual users and business owners. He is a career coach, an adult educator, and an entrepreneur with special interest towards employability, digital media, content marketing and brand strategy. Follow him @anferneeck.