How to Prepare for the Future Workplace

How to Prepare for the Future Workplace

The typical workplace in 1973 was much different than it is today. If you time traveled from that year to today and tried to work, you'd be lost. It would take years for you to learn all the technology you need, and there's a good chance your job wouldn't even be available any longer. As time moves forward, the workplace continues to evolve. You need to take measures to adapt, or you may end up irrelevant. Learn how to prepare for future changes so you can be ready for anything.

Embrace Career Fluidity

The only way to remain relevant in a constantly evolving job market is to be willing to be fluid. If there's one thing that the pandemic taught workers, it's that you need to be able to grow when adversity is at your door. Years ago, people didn't worry about taking on new roles or being able to adapt. First, they got their tertiary education. Then, they found one job and stayed there until they reached their desired level. Finally, they retired.

Today, there is no three step approach. While people might go through those three steps, they are more likely to go through multiple steps. You might find a better career or decide to return from retirement to take on a new role. Even the organizations themselves are more fluid. Workers need to be able to pivot and change careers if necessary.

In fact, almost one third of individuals under the age of 40 have considered quitting their jobs and shifting to a new career. Regardless of whether or not it's necessary, people are open to the idea of exploring other careers. You shouldn't box yourself into a single role, or you could be left behind.

Advancing Skills

The last few decades have brought incredible advances in technology. As the industry advances, job descriptions are changing. A role that never relied much on technology may suddenly require technological prowess. If you aren't willing to learn new skills or build on existing skills, your employer may not find you useful. People who don't stay current with technology risk being obsolete.

Unfortunately, some people fear this change. If you have an aversion to technology, it's time to look at the future. The world only relies more and more on technology. Instead of fearing automation and new developments, you should think about how you can contribute to new technology.

Sure, automation might take away some jobs. But it also adds positions and expands the workforce in other ways. If you take advantage of online courses and continuing education, you can remain ahead of the game. This gives you an opportunity to remain employed or obtain a promotion when others can't.

Automation Won't Take Over Immediately

You should also know that automation won't replace you overnight. According to experts, automation could cause over 40 million Americans to lose their jobs by 2030. However, the process is slow. Automation is costly and impossible for smaller businesses. Not all companies will be able to pay the high cost of automated machines, or they could be decades away from affording the technology.

By learning new skills now, you can make sure you have a job in the years to come. You don't need to scramble to obtain new skills in a short time; instead, you can pace yourself and learn while the technology slowly takes over.

Do Hybrid Professions

If you think about automation and everything that comes with it, you might see some potential for your own career. You can learn how to do one job while gaining skills in another. For instance, you might not be a computer programmer. But that doesn't mean you can't become skilled as a programmer. In some industries, there's an immense value in having dual roles. Coding and programming skills could add value to your current role and prepare you for the future.

In some cases, your employer may even be willing to pay for your education in a technological field. It's probably cheaper for your employer to pay for you to take a  marketing course than it is for them to hire another employee for marketing. Eventually, you could have a hybrid role that sets you apart from everyone else in the job market.

It's no secret that technology will continue to play an essential role in the workplace. With that in mind, you should think of ways that technology might fit into your job. Once you have an idea of what hybrid job title would work for your current employer, you can pitch your idea to your employer. If you already have the skills, they might be willing to give you a raise. And if you don't have the skills, they may pay for your education.

Find Out How Learning is Changing

For some years, micro-learning was enough to keep workers relevant and skilled. This is no longer the case, as you need a more thorough education to catch up with technology. While there is some value in micro-learning, you need to balance it with macro-learning.

Fortunately, macro-learning doesn't require you to go back to college. Today, there are a variety of ways to learn new skills. Corporate training is growing at a rapid rate and new technology makes it easier than ever to learn skills and trades. Pay attention to the educational platforms and consider which educational opportunities would work best with your situation and your learning preferences.

Stay Knowledgeable

Perhaps the most important tip to remaining relevant is to stay in-the-know. If you read articles about new technology and industry news, you can be ready for anything. Major changes don't usually happen over a short period of time. They're more likely to happen slowly and over several years, if not decades.

Spend some of your free time listening to industry podcasts, scrolling through social media, or reading press releases. In the end, your time could pay off. You can plan for your future and be ready for whatever the new workplace looks like.

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