The Future is upon us and Are We Ready for It?
Most of us realize that the future would be a forbidding place due to the dwindling job opportunities in the traditional sectors such as Manufacturing, and the needed skills in the New Economy firms requiring added work and enhanced resilience.
With the exponentially accelerating change thrust upon us by technological advances, we are also aware that we need to prepare for the organizations of the future and be ready to compete in the New World of Work.
However, how many of us are ready for the future and how many of us have the necessary mindset and attitude to succeed and thrive in such a scenario.
Indeed, being aware of the future and being ready for it are two different things as can be seen in the way surveys indicate that most working professionals are apprehensive of the future, but yet are unable to prepare for it.
In other words, a certain paralysis in thinking and preparing for the Brave Future of Tomorrow means that most working professionals are lagging behind on this count. The respected financial publication, Australian Financial Review (AFR), points out that while a majority of organizations and their employees know what it takes to succeed in the future, they have not yet started preparing as the attitude of “we know what is needed, but, it is anyway years away” leads to a certain kind of complacency.
It also cautions that such complacency can cost jobs and careers and hence, it is better if all stakeholders realize this imperative.
How Value Addition can Set you Apart from Your Peers
To start with, professionals should understand that the value they add to their organizations would determine their success in the future. This can happen by Reskilling and retraining oneself so that one is prepared for the skills and the traits that are needed.
For instance, software professionals can start acquiring advanced programming and machine learning skills as well as training themselves on Agile Software Development Methodologies and the DevOps or the new paradigm of software processes wherein Development and Operational Deployment happen in real time.
In addition, financial professionals can reskill themselves by acquiring new skills such as Investment Advice and Wealth Management as well as being acquainted with the emerging technologies now being widely used in finance and banking.
The key point to note here is that it is the value that one adds to the organization that would determine professional success and hence, value addition should be the focus of the efforts.
What is Value and the X Factor that Sets You Apart
So, how does one define value from a career perspective? First, one needs to differentiate oneself from one’s peers in terms of both technical and soft skills.
While one can indeed acquire advanced technical skills with some effort and patience, it is important to note that soft skills are equally, if not, more important in the organization of the future.
For instance, in another report, AFR points out that, the Digital Economy needs professionals who are better than the competition in terms of linguistic proficiency, communication abilities, and Emotional Intelligence.
While one can learn a new language such as French or if one is a non English speaker, then English, interpersonal and EQ abilities can only be acquired over a period of time and hence, professionals must focus on how much value they can add in these aspects.
Apart from this, value is also determined by how much “extra” one’s work brings to the organization when compared in relative terms. Thus, it is important to have the “X Factor” that makes you stand out from the crowd.
Sachin Tendulkar and Value Addition
Next, you can also add value to the organization by innovation, inventiveness, and above all, a tendency to contribute in any situation.
The example of the Indian Cricketing Legend, Sachin Tendulkar, is very apt to illustrate the last point made above. For instance, during his career, Tendulkar was known to pitch in with the ball whenever he could not succeed with the bat, and in addition, he was known to put his best on the field so that the combined effect of his batting, spare bowling, and fit fielding meant that he was a valuable contributor and a key member of the team.
Thus, we hope that you realize what value addition means with this example. In our working experience, we have come across professionals who despite being on bench or given mundane and routine tasks would simply use the time to learn new concepts and skills as well as attend meetings and workshops so that they enhance their skills as well as contribute to the organization.
To add value to the organizations, one must also embrace a positive attitude and a mindset of change that thrives on challenges and spreads the good mood all around. Further, one must not be an energy drainer and instead, be a net energy giver to the team.
While all these aspects very much important in the past as well, the future organizations would need them more from professionals in the midst of tumultuous changes in the way advanced and cutting edge technologies are replacing humans.
Therefore, be ready for the future by starting now so that when opportunity knocks, you are at the door welcoming it.
In addition, chance favors the prepared mind and hence, we suggest that you start preparing for the future starting today so that you become indispensable to the organizations.
To conclude, time waits for none and you can be out of a job as swiftly as you bagged one and this should serve as a wakeup call.