How to Tailor Your Skillset to the Jobs of the Future

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The death of human jobs has been somewhat exaggerated recently and many seem to be preparing for a future not unlike an apocalyptic Philip K. Dick novel.

We can’t deny that automation is coming for us. Last year, the Bank of England’s chief economist said that 80m US and 15m UK jobs might be taken over by robots.

But instead of assuming that automation is synonymous with job losses, it’s more likely to redefine roles. And reinvention is fun, right?

In the spirit of embracing the new, here are the best ways to tailor your skillset to the jobs of the future.

Freelancing and remote working

Trends in the way we work have changed dramatically over the years.

Office cubicles, born in the 1960s, are very much a notion of the past and the office landscape now adopts a more open, collaborative approach.

But recent research suggests that around 50% of the US workforce will be freelancing by 2020, with around 20% of the workforce set to be made up by contractors and temp workers.

Therefore, to future-proof your skills, it’s worth exposing yourself to the work of a freelancer, whether that’s working as one, or with one.

Communication

To prepare yourself for the changing world of work, you must keep in the loop with how people are communicating, whether that’s between colleagues, businesses or customers.

Communication has changed a lot in the last 30 years and this will only continue to morph and develop.

To show you a quick snapshot of how things have changed: the computer became the equipment of choice over the typewriter in the 1980s, Skype released its first beta version in 2003 and in 2013, four million businesses and 97% of fortune companies started using Dropbox.

These are pretty significant leaps and bounds.

So, what developments in communication and sharing of data should we expect?

It’s thought that wearable devices, virtual reality and even instant translation streaming will be prominent forms of communication in the future. However, even though some of these technologies are peaking through at the moment, it’s impossible to predict definitively.

Therefore, we recommend embracing the changes in communications and technology that you experience in work or even in your home life, so that you can remain up to speed. This will help you keep on top of your A-game and make you an attractive professional, no matter where your career goes.

Work-life balance

Remote working has also risen over the years, from just 4% of the UK workforce adopting this style of working in 1997, to 8.9% in 2017. And this is only expected to continue in line with freelancing predictions.

In addition, people are now working longer days than they ever have been thanks to the advancements in technology and communication devices. As a result, the steady balance between work and home life is steadily skewing.

But we’re all familiar with the damages an unhealthy work-life balance can cause; today, work-related stress costs Britain 10.4 million working days every year as a result.

Therefore, you must familiarise yourself with the ways to manage your job, career and other vocational choices as the world of work changes, to ensure that you are working smart.

If you know how to balance your work and life effectively you can be more focused, more productive and enjoy a successful career.


If the changing world of work seems a little daunting, remind yourself that many jobs that are filled today didn’t exist 20 years ago, such as app developers, social media managers, sustainability managers, data scientists and bloggers.

Automation of roles shouldn’t be something that scares you. If anything, it’s going to open up a brand new world of opportunities.


About the author: Laura Slingo is Digital Copywriter for the UK’s leading independent job board, CV-Library. For more expert advice on job searches, careers and the workplace, visit their Career Advice pages.

 


 

Bianca Bass