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  • Writer's pictureEdwin and George

Want to Stay Relevant in a Disrupted Jobs Market? Follow These Four Rules

By2050, it’s agreed that machine learning and robotics will change every line of work – from producing yoghurt to teaching yoga.

To prosper, individuals will need to constantly re-invent themselves throughout their careers. People who will do well are those who have the capability to keep changing, keep learning and develop skills for the future.’ (21 Lessons for the 21st Century, Yuval Noah Harari).

There’s an old truth in the stock market:

‘It doesn’t matter if the market is going up – or if the market is going down – a good trader will make money if the market is volatile.’

And if the same applied to the jobs market – a good trader couldn’t go wrong.

The disruption caused by the pandemic - closed border and economic uncertainty.

  • During the pandemic – worries that unemployment would soar.

  • In recent months – record low unemployment and advertised vacancies – bringing a shortage of candidates.

  • And now – headlines like the one in the ‘Daily Mail’ on 3 August 202022- ‘Why Australians hoping to switch jobs during the 'Great Resignation' are running out of time to choose a new career.’ The impact of high inflation and higher interest rates taking their toll in 2023 – producing a higher level of unemployment.

And in the background, the ever-increasing pace of technological change and automation.

In his book, ‘The Future of Work,’ Jacob Morgan argues that ‘these will be scary times for those who aren’t prepared – but for those who take action and prepare, they will be times of great opportunity.

So, how to stay relevant in a world where, even a conservative body like the US Federal Bureau of Labour, argues that a new graduate today will change jobs at least 17 times in their careers?

Here are our four rules.

Rule 1 - Take control of your own self-development.

Your self-development – it’s too important to wait for someone else to prompt you.

  • Are you engaged in the two-speed career? The day-to-day work - also developing the skills needed for the future?

  • Attend courses, conferences, and webinars, read books, watch videos – it’s never been easier. Keep your CV moving. New projects, experiences, collaborations.

  • Develop your personal brand. Social media, LinkedIn, become an influencer in your field.

  • Journal and track progress.

‘In my kingdom you have to run as fast as you can to stay in the same place.’ (The Red Queen to Alice)

Rule 2 – Learn skills that will be useful in the future – not those that were useful in the past.

In recent research, LinkedIn argue that between 25-40% of skills people need at work will change by 2025 – with digital and leadership skills increasing in demand.

McKinsey report that.

‘The rapid rise of digitalization and remote work have placed new demands on employees who now require different skills to support how work gets done and deliver the business priorities their companies are setting.’

‘The challenges will grow.

In addition, also according to McKinsey, the skills now in demand as work changes are:

  • Leadership and managing others

  • Critical thinking

  • Decision making

  • Project management

  • Adaptability

  • Basic digital skills

  • People skills (communication, empathy)

  • Data analytics and mathematical skills

  • Quantitative and statistical skills

  • Complex information processing and interpretation

  • IT skills and programming

  • Design thinking.

What skills do you have now that can be easily adapted or developed to match those needed in the ‘future of work?’

Rule 3 - When it comes to your career, play the Infinite Game

Australians retire at average age 55.4 years.

In a career spanning 35-years the fact that your rank or salary has fallen behind a work mate or friend from college isn’t relevant.

As we move into the future of work, it’s clear - the only competitor you should pay attention to is - yourself, yesterday.

Do you have more skills and experience today than you did yesterday? Will you have more skills and experience in 3-months than you do now - how are you going to do this?

In the words of Jordan Peterson:

‘Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today.’ (’12 Rules for Life.’)

Rule 4 – Know that people who have a strong image of their ‘future self’ do better

Academic research is clear.

  • People who have a strong, well-defined image of the person they will be in the future (say, one or two years) do better.

But they must align their current behaviour to the image they have of their future self to make progress.

So, despite all the uncertainty), where do you see yourself in your career in two-years time?

What kind of job will you be doing?

How many people will you be leading?

How much money will you be earning?

And critically, what do you need to change in your current behaviour to stand a chance of achieving that future image?

Check out this great Ted Talk on the concept of the ‘future self, see Dr Benjamin Hardy ‘The 100% Rule that will Change your Life.’)

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