The Future of Work: Adapting Today for a Successful Tomorrow
With all this talk of artificial intelligence (AI) and other advances in technology, it’s understandable that employees might question where they stand in the grand scheme of things. And while there obviously has always been room to grow and improve your skill set, even before these huge technological jumps, what does it take to keep abreast of what seems like near-constant changes in the modern workforce? Luckily, there are some ways to adapt to these evolving environments and keep yourself (and your job skills) relevant.
The first and perhaps easiest thing you can do is look at the status quo from a new angle. Challenge the why: Why are procedures being done the way that they are? Is it because that is the most efficient way of doing things? Or is it simply because that’s the way things have always been done? Is there a way to enhance the flow or output of tasks in your particular position? If so, speak up. Look around for improvements, changes, or even brand-new opportunities your employer may not have noticed. Your innovativeness and creativity make you a valuable part of the workforce, and it never hurts to remind your boss of that.
Learn something new
Next, focus on “upskilling” yourself. This means learning new skills and improving on the ones you already have, whether through online classes or attending relevant workshops. Instead of fighting the influx of technological advancements in the workplace, demonstrate your ability to quickly master them. Whether it’s AI platforms like ChatGPT, coding, or some other digital skill, figure out what would help you do your job better, and take the initiative to learn it. It’s only a matter of time before companies lean more and more heavily on digitized processes, so taking the time now to familiarize yourself with—and even master—these tools will pay off in the future.
Focus on the data
The growing increase in workplace data accessibility is also a way to stay on top of changing trends. Instead of data being portioned off among different departments across the company, a merging of multiple data sources is already on its way—largely due to companies’ increasing modern tendency to move everything online. The result? A major shift in how things are done. According to Entrepreneur, “While decisions have long been ruled by the highest-ranking official or loudest person in the room, we'll see data opening dialogue between team members and lending itself to fresh ideas. With data as the center of team communications, businesses will see collaboration increase, and teams will drive more intelligent, more informed decisions.” This increase in collaboration and more informed decision-making will present new opportunities to shine for employees who are willing to dive right in.
Work with purpose
The absolute best thing you can do for yourself to prepare for the future of work is to make sure your role is purpose-driven and attempt to learn a little something new each day. As employers come to the realization that they cannot hire new people to match all the new skills needed for ever-changing industries, those in charge will increasingly be relying on the employees they already have to develop the talent that is (and will be) needed.
The more adaptive a company is, and the more it learns to roll with the new advances in technology and beyond, the more flexible it will need its employees to become. By seizing new learning opportunities as they arrive (and, more importantly, seeking them on your own), you’ll demonstrate you’re prepared to join your company on the precipice of whatever new innovations they embrace.
As an employee, you’re afforded the unique perspective of being on the ground during these momentous shifts in how the workplace operates. If you keep your head up and your eyes open, you’ll be able to see the sometimes subtle shifts that occur over the course of months and years in your chosen field—making it that much easier for you to adapt to the changes and keep you on track for a successful career.