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Three ways to help future-proof your career in 2020

Future Proof Your Career
Stay on track with your professional development and help future-proof your career goals by upskilling. 

Stay on track with your professional development and help future-proof your career goals by upskilling.

The latest figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics tell us that 2.7million Australians either lost their job or are grappling with reduced hoursi as a result of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Although retail and hospitality segments were hit hardest, few industries can now be considered safe, making it all the more important to develop an upskilling strategy that can help to future-proof your career path.

Here are a few ways you could improve your job prospects and keep sight of your career goals in 2020.

1. Research trends within the fastest-growing industries

Knowing which job segments and industries are set to grow in the next five years might help shape your next steps for professional development. According to the Federal Government, the service industries that were perfectly poised for growth pre-coronavirus included health care, construction, education and training, as well as technical services ranging from legal and accounting to product designii. While it’s expected COVID-19 will put a dent in the trajectory of some of these, like construction, others such as health care and education are likely to experience less of an impact.

COVID-19 is set to alter our workforce, and experts suggest there are now big changes afoot when it comes to the way our jobs are performediii rather than the jobs themselves. Understanding this new environment – plus the skills shortages within the job market – can help you future-proof your career.

Experts predict there will be a need for flexible staff, who are able to apply high-demand skill sets across departments rather than in rigid and strictly defined roles. There will also be a new dependence on automation to help smooth out any kinks in service disruptions, if last-minute obstacles ariseiii.

Both flexibility and automation have helped minimise many workplace disruptions in the wake of COVID-19. This suggests that the post-coronavirus workplace will need an adaptable and flexible employee, ready to learn new skills and adjust to new challenges at a moment’s notice.

2. Develop a wide range of core skills

While a desirable set of hard skills (the tangible, measurable technical knowledge you have as a result of study or experience) is imperative to landing certain jobs, personality-focused soft skills are often just as important. For example, a potential employer might be looking for a whiz at software design but also someone who is creative and communicates well, to fit into the dynamic of a team. As such, you should look to increase both the skills that can be easily taught and defined, as well as developing your interpersonal aptitude.

By upskilling in some of the most in-demand skills for 2020iv relevant to your career path, you could fast track the move to the next level in your career. These include competency in cloud computing, analytical reasoning, artificial intelligence (AI), user-experience (UX) design and blockchain. There are also the soft skills of creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability and emotional intelligence. These soft skills don’t just apply to office-based jobs – they’re also particularly relevant in fields like nursing, aged and disabled care.

3. Build an upskilling strategy

Luckily, now is an ideal time to dive into professional upskilling. Global isolation measures due to COVID-19 have helped uncover a number of affordable and accessible platforms for learning and upskilling courses.

Closer to home, some training options have been supported by the government with free or discounted courses in subjects as diverse as leadership, digital security and nursing. And online courses span a staggering range of disciplines and certifications, from short courses to gradual-level subjects and professional certifications led by institutions as prestigious as Harvard, MIT, Yale and Oxford universities.

Always do your own research when looking for a training provider to escalate your professional goals.

ii Australian Government: Future Outlook

iii Harvard Business Review: How the Coronavirus Crisis Is Redefining Jobs

iv LinkedIn Learning: The Skills Companies Need Most in 2020 – And How to Learn Them

©AMP Life Limited. First published May 2020

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