Five years from now, what will your job or profession look like? Will it remain in demand in the next 10 or 15 years or is it at risk of becoming obsolete because of technology?
Globally, different industries are undergoing a digital shift hastened by the COVID-19 pandemic, prompting professionals to upskill, retrain, and retool themselves to stay current and relevant.
It's a concern across all ages in the workforce. According to the Decoding Global Talent Report of JobStreet, nearly half or 46% of professionals in their 20s or Gen Zs are worried about technology putting them out of work. For millennials or those in their 30s, 41% share the same concerns.
"Because of the pandemic, there was a great acceleration towards automation and digitalization. Having said that, there are roles that might be obsolete in the next five to 10 years that's why it's important for a person to recognize the role today and what would be the role in the future," JobStreet Philippines country manager Philip Gioca told reportr.
Office secretaries of the 90s for example have become a rarity in the professional setting in favor of virtual assistants in the post-pandemic world.
No one knows what the future holds but it pays to prepare and have a contingency plan just in case automation, digitalization, or another global crisis hits your career.
In terms of job resiliency, professionals in the following industries are at higher risk and should consider building contingency plans around their roles according to JobStreet Philippines:
1. Customer Service
2. Service Sector
3. Administration and Secretarial
4. Media and Information
5. Arts and Creative Work
Industries that are considered to be most resilient however are the following:
2. Human Resources
3. Engineering and Technical Jobs
4. Digitalization and Automation
5. Science and Research
7. Health and Medicine
8. IT and Technology
9. Social Care
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Here are the skills you need to stay professionally relevant in any industry:
Regardless of industry or profession, developing digital skills is a must to stay professionally relevant as highlighted by the pandemic where video conferencing has become the norm.
"When we talk about the tech, it's really about being able to navigate across the different digital platforms that are used now. It's a disadvantage if you don't know how to connect through interactive platforms," Gioca said.
In any industry, there is always a need for soft skills such as teamwork, communication, problem-solving, and creative thinking.
"There will always be challenges in any work so soft skills like problem-solving will always be needed. It will never go away. You still need to have it," Gioca said.
Times are uncertain and challenges will come in different shapes and forms which is why professionals need to be flexible to adapt to different situations.
When the pandemic required employees to suddenly work from home, the flexible ones thrived while those who were stuck in their office routines had a harder time adjusting.
"The way things are being done is changing across different industries and employees need to be able to adapt to these changes to stay relevant," Gioca said.
Future-proofing your career
Here are ways to future-proof your career to stay professionally relevant in the years to come:
Upskill and reskill
Continue professional development by learning broad competencies and skills that are easily transferrable across different roles. If your company provides opportunities for employees to develop new skills apart from their regular roles, take advantage of these.
JobStreet Philippines suggests integrating learning into daily workflows through virtual classes, coaching, nudges, and gamification.
Digital is the way to go. Even if new tech developments don't seem useful to your current role, make an effort to remain tech-savvy.
Whether it's a new app or platform, be proactive and know a thing or two about it. Chances are, it might just be the next big thing and you'll have to catch up on it in the future.
Build your professional network
With the fast-paced shifts and developments across different industries, it's important to build and maintain connections with people in and out of your company and industry.
Roles are changing rapidly and having professional connections can help provide new learnings and opportunities.
The reality is times are highly uncertain which is why professionals need to build contingency plans around their roles to future-proof their careers.
As JobStreet explains: “After COVID-19, workers would not expect a lifetime of employment. However, if your company continues to remake themselves for jobs that will exist in the future, that could possibly differentiate your company from the competition.”
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