When Scott Forstall first introduced Siri at Apple Special Event in 2011, one thing become very clear – that one day Siri will be hooked up to telecom system to automate a lot of work that’s currently done by customer service officers, troubleshooters and even certain diagnostic jobs! Our vehicles are going to be driven by themselves as well. All these technological advances imply one important outcome; that eventually we will need fewer jobs.
Here’s what you might need to do in order to continue to be ‘valuable’ at your workplace:
Be a master of communication
The ability to communicate with your subordinates, peers and superiors has always been a skill much neglected. Being able to clearly communicate your thoughts, ideas, suggestions and even instructions is highly valued in every workplace. In addition, if you’re adept at reading people (especially knowing what your superiors want) and tweaking your communication style to meet the needs of those you work with, you’ll become invaluable to whatever organisation you are in (or those you plan to join).
Be a leader
Your ability to broadly highlight your leadership and management abilities will put you at the top of the applicant list. (Click to tweet)
As the saying goes – Be a leader, not a manager. John Maxwell clearly stated in his book ‘The 360 Degree Leader’ that leading from the middle of an organisation is often the optimal place to practice, exercise and extend your influence.
Think back on your career and reflect on times when you were selected to lead a project or discussion. Document these times when you were able to take charge and facilitate a positive outcome, be it direct or indirect impact.
While preparing for your resume, find ways to transfer these capabilities into a universal perspective by identifying specific skills and outcomes rather than the tasks you performed. For example in my case as Navy Combat Officer previously, “Led a team of 20 people to successfully meet and exceed goals for two quarters” rather than explaining the technical details of my work as a Weapons Officer, which can be irrelevant at times.
Your ability to broadly highlight your leadership and management abilities will put you at the top of the applicant list.
Be a helper
Being willing to do more than you’re asked to do is one of the key factors to success in any industry. I am not encouraging you to behave in a servile or obsequious manner but rather to anticipate the needs of your superior, peers, subordinates or even customers.
Be a passionate champion
Being a champion is not about being someone who consistently wins. It is about being someone who never gives up when faced with adversity. (Click to tweet)
Each of us is fueled by our passion in whatever we do. If you dread going to work in the morning, chances are you have little or no passion in the job you are doing. When this happens, you could either learn to ‘love the job you found’, or ‘find a job you love’. Either way, it is extremely important that this is done.
Being a champion is not about being someone who consistently wins. It is about being someone who never gives up when faced with adversity. A close friend of mine would term being a champion as someone who would be the last man standing when the ship sinks. This behavior can never be achieved if passion for the job or task is not present.
Be a ‘multi-tasker’
What is your reaction when your superior hands over an additional role to you? Do you accept it with the hope to learn more (but not overloading yourself) or turn away the offer? Let’s face it; all of us do not enjoy additional work. However, depending on the size of the company, your current role, the work you are tasked to take over, it might be wiser to accept it with open arms. These additional skills means that with the given amount of time, you could have potentially learn twice as much as what your peers are learning!
In smaller companies, you need to be able to manage more than one task at a time without losing sight of your ultimate goal — or losing control of your charges.
Believe it or not, your perfect attendance record and wasted vacation days can actually be a top selling point, no matter how big a jump your move from accountant to freelance designer seems. As much as I hate to admit, being consistently late for work can sometimes be detrimental to your progression in the company as well. Bosses just want to feel that they can depend on you when they consider your promotion, and this is something that is tangible for their consideration.
If you can be relied upon and don’t leave people waiting, you’re already on the road to success no matter what your career change is.
There is no way we can prevent advancements in technology (e.g. mobile). It is thus ultimately up to the individuals to decide if they want to be replaced or stay ahead of the pack.
Anfernee Tan | Operations Director, biipmi Pte Ltd
Anfernee Tan is the Co-founder and also the Chief Editor of biipmi.print. He oversees all marketing initiatives for content and channel optimization across multiple networks to drive engagement, retention, leads and positive experience for the individual users and business owners. He is a career coach, an adult educator, and an entrepreneur with special interest towards employability, digital media, content marketing and brand strategy. Check out what he has to say!
See also: Beyond Staying Relevant >>