September 6, 2019, by Leah Sharpe
Career Management – The Future of Work
By Christian Jameson-Warren, Employability Education Projects Officer
It is widely accepted that people generally change jobs several times in their lifetime. Emerging technology has the potential to create many new types of jobs that don’t exist now. Therefore the nature of jobs and the tasks involved could dramatically change. Some of the most in-demand jobs today didn’t exist ten years ago, and it’s widely predicted that the skills that employers want will continually and significantly evolve over time.
So, how do you successfully manage your career when the workplace will be continually evolving and changing over your working life? Below are some principles that may help:
1) Identify what attributes you like using, and what kind of problems you like solving
Over the last 25 years there has statistically been an increase in careers advice literature advising that you do something you’re interested in. However, while research shows that this certainly won’t make you unhappy, you are more likely to be happy in your work if you do something you’re good at and achieve a sense of satisfaction. You change as a person over time, so naturally your interests evolve too – and if you’re good at something most often you’ll start to get interested in it anyhow.
Look at your attributes, which are qualities you naturally have, such as being creative, outgoing, proactive, ambitious and so on. These are different to skills, which are abilities that you learn. The skills that you like to learn and use will often stem from your attributes, for example if you’re a caring, generous person, you’re naturally going to want to develop interpersonal skills.
Next, think about how you like using those attributes to solve problems, for example helping a customer understand their finances better or creating an IT programme that improves a process. While the skills used to do these tasks may change, you’ll still know what attributes to use and what tasks to focus on so you can enjoy your work.
2) Identify your most important values
Values can be defined as what’s important to you. Research shows that working for an organisation that has similar values to you is an important factor in job happiness. So understanding your values will help you when looking at new opportunities. For example, if social responsibility and making a difference are important to you, you’ll be happier at organisations that actively adapt these principles too.
In addition, think about how you want to live your values in your life, and how work fits into this. For example, if your values are achieving and being the best you can be, you may be more inclined to consider a short-term assignment that offers great reward. Whereas if security and certainty are more important to you, then you’ll be less inclined to pursue this sort of opportunity.
3) Nurture relationships
Jobs can also be found through people you network with. While this may seem daunting at the start of your career, as you get further into your career you will naturally work with and meet more people. Social media such as LinkedIn, can make nurturing relationships with new people easier. Once you know what sort of opportunities you’d be open to, spending a little bit of time on a consistent basis speaking to relevant people can help you find exciting and new opportunities you would not have otherwise.
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