The Future of Work: How to Stay Relevant in a Changing Workforce
In recent months, the changing face of the workforce has become a popular topic in the media and it’s not difficult to see why. In a span of weeks, the labor market has gone through unprecedented disruptions, the most tangible of which is the coronavirus pandemic and the corresponding economic downturn that followed.
A recent report by the World Bank estimated that this year’s overall global economy is expected to shrink by 5.2 percent—a figure that positions us in the midst of the deepest global recession in decades. The halt in economic activity triggered waves of unemployment across industries thus creating a blanket of uncertainty for everyone. If you weren’t worried about the virus, you definitely should be worried about your job.
But the point of this article is not to drive you deeper into paranoia—although it may seem like it is. The point is, there’s still a lot you can do to stay ahead of the crisis and future-proof your career.
There’s an age-old maxim that goes: “The first step to solving a problem is recognizing there is one,” to which I would add, and “embracing it.” It’s a counter-intuitive concept, to be sure. After all, the idea of a problem itself already brings with it connotations of an oncoming headache.
But it’s only when you embrace these challenges that you gain the opportunity to change and be better. Before this becomes another episode of Dr. Phil, let’s break down how this concept can help you stay relevant in the changing workforce.
The job market has always been a tumultuous arena for everyone even before the pandemic struck. We’ve seen countless people change professions based on the challenges and opportunities laid on their path.
And we’ve seen some fall behind because they weren’t able to keep up with the times. With the widespread job losses and transitions in the workplace, the best thing you can do is to recognize these hurdles and assess how you can position yourself in a way that benefits you most. Adapt to it.
This way, you’re not just a sitting duck waiting to be axed. There’s no better time for you to be proactive than now. At the risk of sounding like Dr. Phil, being proactive allows you to focus on preparing; being reactive forces you to focus on repairs.
This brings us to the next step: self-development. Take stock of your skills. What abilities can you leverage in the workplace? What needs further improvement? Taking that conscious effort to improve yourself regularly is a hallmark for success in a market that is rife with competition.
Fortunately, the advent of the digital era has afforded us thousands of options to do this. One of the stronger ones is pursuing further education. Of course, degrees don’t come cheap, and drowning in student loans is the last thing you would need in this pandemic.
Although there are some graduate school scholarship programs that you can apply to, there are more affordable yet equally credible ways by which you can enrich your knowledge. One of which is coding boot camps.
Bootcamps came to the fore in the early 2010s in a bid to bypass gaps in the traditional educational model. These capitalize on three strengths: affordability, adaptability, and accessibility.
By providing short yet intensive education, students are able to immediately apply the skills and knowledge they acquired in the workplace. This has made boot camps a popular go-to for professionals looking to upskill or reskill or, in most cases, to earn a six-figure salary. The increased demand for boot camps has led to a boom in such so be very thorough in your selection process to increase your chances of getting into one of the best bootcamps out there.
There’s No Secret Formula
There’s not a one-size-fits-all approach for being invaluable in the workforce. Everyone will eventually face a stumbling block unique to their career or situation. The only way to overcome this is to nurture a growth mindset and an unshakable determination to thrive. Will you fail? That’s inevitable. Will you succeed? That’s up to you. That’s really all there is to it.