How can we shape our careers to stay ahead in the digital age and still be true to our authentic self?
Half the jobs we know today won’t exist anymore. McKinsey predicts that up to 30% of current jobs affecting 800 million people, will be displaced by automation by 2030. So how can we become owners of our careers in the digital and fast changing world?
- Understand our core uniqueness FIRST
It’s easy to be swamped by the many new opportunities created from digitalisation and the strong demand for technical skills such as software development, data science etc. Before we jump in and sign up for one of the many coding bootcamps that have mushroomed in the last couple of years, it is important to take time to reflect and strategize what the age of digitization mean for us.
In our coaching and job strategy program, one of the tools that we and our participants love – shared also frequently by the World Economic Forum as the possible secret to happy and meaningful life is the Japanese concept of the Ikigai.
Set aside an hour each week to reflect and ask the following questions: What are some of the skills that we have that makes us better than 99% of the people around us? What do people come to us for advice? What makes us jump out of bed every morning? What future trends are we excited about that we would love to be part of? What are people willing to pay us for? Our ikigai is the intersection between what we are good at; what we love; what the world needs and what we can be paid for.
- Recruit our own CTOs in our career board of advisors
As part of the think tank that advice senior management in organizations to anticipate and develop strategies for the future of work, one of the biggest fears we often discussed is what about those who don’t have a technical background? How do we know which of our skills will be replaced by digitisation? And what new skills do we need to acquire?
We have all heard about how it’s important to develop and rally our personal board of directors when we plan our careers and use their collective knowledge and wisdom to help us map our career next steps. Kerry Mcquillan, General Manager – Diversity and Inclusion at Randstad Australia did just that. When she returned to work after her parental leave, one of the first things she did was to schedule a meeting with the head of technology so that she can be up to speed with the latest updates in technology.
Make a list of those who we believe are in the forefront of technology in our area of work and have a chat with them. Understand from them what and where are the opportunities. Talk them through our ikigai and ask their advice on where our career next steps could be.
As we enlist the technology experts and start having more conversations, we will soon find yourself getting more comfortable and savvy in having technology discussions (including the jargons) and also clarity in potential opportunities.
- Be bold and curious with technology
In Mckinsey’s article, “Rethinking Work in the Digital Age” rebundling tasks to create new occupations and project based work will soon replace the traditional roles. So why not court technology and see how it can become part of our career arena?
Britta Mues-Walter, CEO of a boutique executive search firm reflected in her article: “In the Search for the Next Female Leader”, women are often reluctant to apply for a role when they only meet 90 percent of the criteria and worry about the lack of 10 percent while men apply if they meet 50 to 60%.
Don’t be afraid to communicate openly our career passions and ambitions. Develop our portfolio career by taking on projects that are outside of our comfort zone. Put our hands up for digitization projects within our company or volunteer at organizations tackling the opportunities and challenges of the future of work.
Companies are often on the look-out for talents that are agile, curious to learn continuously and open to change. As an old latin proverb says: “Fortune favours the bold” .
- Take charge of our career and take action
No one will ever be more vested in our career than ourselves. We don’t have to do it alone and it is important to seek professional help such as coaches, sponsors, mentors or community support during the career discovery phase. However, Aditi Rasquinha, Director of Seafreight at Kuehne+Nagel Netherlands in our recent conversation rightly said, „It’s important to keep in mind that mentors and coaches are only our support group. They are there to structure our thoughts, to give you guidance, to share experience. But we have to be the driver of our career”
Want to start taking action? Join us at our upcoming Leading Women: My Career Relaunch Forum and Workshop in Frankfurt on May 3rd, 2019 and be part of the intimate group engaging industry leaders to discuss what it means for female leaders in the future of work.
Carolina Yeo is a former head of HR and the founder of the My Career and Child Community (www.mycareerandchild.com) that helps career ambitious women return to work with confidence after a career break. Together with her colleagues and corporate partners, they are on a mission to help women worldwide reach their full career potential. Carolina is also a partner at the Future Work Forum (www.futureworkforum.com) and mum to 2 beautiful girls, passionate to champion the future of work for women.