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5 minute read

How to Stay Relevant and Competitive in the Future of Work

The book “Future Fit” unravels skills and attributes that will be invaluable in the forthcoming decades, and how we can hone these skills to realise their optimal potential. Get ready for these changes and equip yourself with the tools to navigate the future of work with confidence and competence.

Does the relentless march of technological advancement stir up fear and trepidation in you? Such anxiety may not be entirely misplaced. With a future likely dominated by artificial intelligence and radically reimagined employment models, staying up to date with emerging trends is not just a choice—it’s a necessity. To remain relevant and competitive, it is imperative to understand, anticipate, and adeptly respond to these transformations.

Harness the power of your personal brand to navigate the future of work successfully

A “personal brand” is your unique approach to tasks, values, passions, and the impression you leave on those around you. Knowing who you are, what you stand for, and what drives you will not only help you define your personal brand, but it will also become your most compelling selling point to prospective employers. Nothing is more appealing to an employer than someone who exhibits a clear sense of purpose in their career and life.

Moreover, when your career choice is underpinned by a profound understanding of your preferences, you’ll be able to articulate your passion with authenticity and conviction. Like a well-established consumer brand, your personal brand will resonate with consistency and clarity.

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Future success depends on mastering communication and rapid adaptability

One strategy to stay ahead in the unrelenting race with technology is to hone your communication skills to a razor’s edge. Becoming an exceptional communicator is crucial for achieving success in the future.

In this futuristic landscape, you’ll need to quickly decipher and disseminate complex information. Given the disruption happening across most spheres of activity, individuals who can swiftly comprehend and communicate new information will be highly valued.

When communicating vital information to your colleagues or superiors, you could adopt the structure TV reporters employ. Initiate with a headline – a powerful sentence encapsulating a singular idea.

Next, present the key points of the information. Frame three robust facts about your information, and substantiate them with relevant statistics and data. When you do this, clearly outline each fact, for example: “Issue 1…, Issue 2…, Issue 3….”

Finally, round off the discussion. This is where you articulate what you expect your colleagues or manager to do with the information you’ve presented. This concluding section should be lucid and impactful, as you’ll want them to remember it. If you need them to take action, suggest urgency using your words. If you’re sharing a significant breakthrough, ensure you highlight its importance.

Future survival hinges on your ability to embrace unfamiliarity, visualise your goals, and regulate your emotions to unleash creativity

As we continue to innovate at an unprecedented pace, we can confidently predict that many of our existing jobs will be outperformed by machines, particularly those involving repetitive tasks or data processing. This inevitably leads us to wonder: as machines excel in mechanical and data-processing roles, which human attributes will remain valuable?

Creativity stands out as the most significant. At least for now, it’s a quality that sets us apart from machines.

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So, how can you unlock this potential? There are three specific strategies to consider.

1. Forced adaptation

Engaging in unfamiliar activities can significantly stimulate the part of the brain responsible for creativity. This type of shock therapy jolts your creative faculties into action. Many historical geniuses intuitively understood this and adopted peculiar routines to foster creativity. For instance, Benjamin Franklin, the inventor, believed he was most productive when he was naked and cold! Composer Igor Stravinsky would do a headstand for 15 minutes each morning.

2. Understand the importance of visualisation

When you can envision your end goal, your brain’s neural pathways activate as if you were actually performing the task.

If you visualise yourself delivering a compelling speech or winning a departmental award, you’re already halfway there! Visualisation equips your brain to undertake the work you need to accomplish.

3. Emotional regulation

In a world teeming with distracting stimuli, achieving calm is necessary to channel your creativity. Whether through meditation, mindfulness, or stress management, find what works best for you. Clear a space in your mind and let your creativity flourish.

Future networking will hinge on reconnecting with old friends, highlighting the power of enduring relationships

When you hear the term “networking,” what comes to mind? Is it the image of an industry conference where you’re trying to distribute as many business cards as possible? The concept of networking is evolving, and to thrive in the future, you’ll need to reconsider your approach.

The key takeaway is that networking will involve reconnecting with old friends and acquaintances in the future. Instead of trying to impress strangers who know little about you, it’s much more beneficial to reconnect with your old friends.

You might be wondering, “How could my old friends possibly impact my professional life?” The answer is – quite significantly. Many of your past friends are likely now part of different circles, working in diverse sectors and living in various regions or countries. The potential career benefits of reigniting these relationships could be enormous.

Reconnecting with old friends also offers a significant human benefit. In an increasingly isolating and solitary professional landscape, we need all the practical and emotional support we can muster. You’ll need your friends to navigate the future more than ever.

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Embrace continuous learning to stay relevant in the fast-evolving future

While the exact nature of the future remains uncertain, it’s safe to assume that, like today, it will be characterised by incessant disruption and innovation. The advent of automation, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and robotics is set to alter our world fundamentally.

To equip ourselves for this forthcoming reality, it’s important to cultivate a habit of continuous lifelong learning. This involves a commitment to exploring unfamiliar territories and expanding our knowledge base. This practice not only enhances our prospects in terms of career opportunities but also helps us navigate an increasingly complex world. There are four primary strategies to foster this habit of continuous learning.

1. Define explicit learning objectives

This entails identifying knowledge gaps and taking steps to fill them. For instance, if you’re unfamiliar with the term “fintech”, a simple solution would be to read and research about it.

2. Synergise traditional knowledge with contemporary insights

Every subject consists of foundational principles and emerging concepts. The “old school” facet of a subject like economics might involve understanding theories proposed by Adam Smith or Karl Marx. In contrast, the “new school” could involve exploring recent trends like the “sharing economy”. A comprehensive understanding of any topic requires an appreciation of both aspects.

3. Tap into the reservoir of “street smarts”

This implies staying attuned to the latest insights and developments. You might glean this knowledge from listening to a podcast, attending a conference, or exchanging ideas with a domain expert. This real-world insight complements and enriches the theoretical understanding gained from studying the old and new school components.

4. Adhere to a disciplined revision schedule

While many find this challenging, it’s a critical part of the learning process. Regular revision, whether through daily flashcards or designated reading time each week, is essential for retaining and assimilating new knowledge.

The beauty of this process is that even if the knowledge acquired doesn’t have an immediate application, expanding your understanding of the world is always rewarding!

This article is co-created by NexPage, a translated book summary app, and Workipedia by MyCareersFuture.

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