Wednesday, November 20

Prepare now for the workplace of the future

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SOMETIME in the near future, we’re more likely to work in a tech-driven environment that encourages innovation and collaboration among diverse talents in both the physical and virtual space.

Needless to say, now is a good time to equip ourselves with the necessary knowledge and skills to ensure success in this workplace of the future.

The question then is how we should prepare ourselves.

Ideally, we should start exploring new tech or building our digital literacy and soft skills early.

Whether you’re a college student or if you’re working full-time, it’s never too late to learn and improve yourself, as long as you’re responsible for your own self-development and commit yourself to continuous learning.

Here are a few other ways to get ready for the workplace of the future:

Rethink what defines a career

Given how the rapid technological change is affecting industries, there’s a need to relook the concept of a career.

This is because in the future, where the nature of existing jobs is expected to change and new occupations to emerge, you could end up doing more than one type of work.

So instead of, “What do I want to be after I leave school?” ask yourself, “What are the many things that I want to do after I leave school?”

By allowing yourself to discover and develop several areas of interest, you’ll have the adaptability and flexibility to work in different fields, thus broadening your career options and enhancing your employability in the job market.

Mingle with different kinds of people

The workforce of the future will be “multi-generational, older and more international, with women playing a strong role”, predicts the UK government in its report ‘The Future of Work: Jobs and Skills in 2030’.

This means that it’s very important for you to learn to interact and understand people from all walks of life.

Doing so will improve your communication skills, emotional intelligence, and social intelligence.

If your virtual circle happens to consist mostly of people your own age from the same area, for example, try expanding towards a more diverse set.

In real life, participating in voluntary work or social events is a good opportunity to increase your communicative experience.

Get ‘artsy’

While tech skills and the use of new technologies will help drive the workplace of the future, it’s crucial to have a deep comprehension of how technology can impact society at large.

This is where having knowledge in the arts as well as the broader areas of humanities and social
sciences can be useful, for they provide a greater understanding of human society and culture.

It also enables critical thinking because learning these disciplines requires you to understand through different perspectives and interpretations.

Additionally, it allows you to express your ideas better and develop your creativity and collaborative skills, thereby boosting your self-confidence and self-esteem.

This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.