Yup, it is still January and if you haven’t started your professional polishing for this year, it is not too late. A study* released last October looked at jobs that will be growing and declining over the next 10 years. If you haven’t looked at this, now may be a good time to do so.
A radical shift is already underway, and you will want to be on the right side of it. So, brush up on a few skills and be aware of what trends are happening in the world of work.
- Many jobs will require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree or a skill designation as we move away from manufacturing jobs. Many of those jobs that used to exist in the manufacturing sector are being automated.
- Jobs in health care and clean energy will continue to grow. For example, the estimated growth in some job areas over the next ten years are as follows:
- Mathematicians +29%
- Software developers, applications +31%
- Physical therapist assistants +31%
- Health care workers; will grow from +31% to +47%
- Warehouse jobs tied to online shopping
- Organic farming
This signals growth primarily in urban areas where much of the population resides. There are also shifts in demographics by job categories. According to the latest US census, while women still dominate nursing and home care fields, men are increasingly taking jobs in this sector. When they do, they tend to be promoted more quickly. **
So aside from keeping an eye on job trends and improving your technical skills to keep up with the pack, you also need to arm yourself with what your company and others are looking for: the ability to pivot, collaborate and problem solve. In a 2017 Global Trends Survey that LinkedIn recently published, 35% of recruiters stated that soft skills assessment will drive future recruiting trends.
How do you build these skills this year if you are not naturally able to “pivot on a dime” or prefer to work alone or you would rather do than lead the solution?
- Take an inventory of “you,” in terms of pivoting, collaborating and problem-solving. List what are you good at and what aren’t you naturally good at. Be able to articulate the 3 strengths that you own. Then list what you believe others think you are good at or not so good at. Ask your co-workers in a non-threatening way. “if you were to order my strengths, would it be meeting change, collaborating or problem-solving.” This will give you lots of insight.
- Decide what you want to be good at and develop a plan on how to get there. Without a goal and a plan your work objectives are just a wish. For instance, if you recognize that you really prefer execution rather than problem-solving, look at jobs that fulfill that preference. If you are employed, talk to your manager and tell them how you can bring value to the organization by doing more of what naturally suits you. Chances are they will appreciate your candid observation about yourself and work with you to ensure that you are in the right role, doing the right tasks.
- Work on your blind-spots. Sometimes, you have to shore up on things that don’t come easily to you. Take pivoting, if chaos or constant change leaves you paralyzed but that is the nature of your business, there are ways to feel more in control. Take 20 minutes before you end work on Fridays to outline what you think you will have to face the following week. Develop plan “B.” Ask yourself what your role will be if things change. Ask questions of those in the know about what is coming up. Think like a Girl Guide or a Boy Scout whose mottos are “Be Prepared.”
2018 will be fast-paced, full of challenge and full of opportunities if you get to work now!
*Employment patterns are based on the 2013-15 American Community Survey data. | Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics and Census Bureau, via IPUMS
** The Glass Escalator: Hidden Advantages for Men in the “Female” Professions | Source: Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for the Study of Social Problems Vol. 39, No. 3 Aug. 1992
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