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Optimum Talks Blog

The Benefits of Upskilling in an Evolving Job Market

by Tamara Mago

Embracing Evolution

The job market has seen tremendous change over the past decade. With the rapid evolution of technology disrupting almost every aspect of our work, certain highly sought-after skills just ten years ago are no longer relevant and some job functions have gone, or are going, extinct.

While this may sound concerning, it is not all bad news as new roles and professions have emerged that have opened a world of possibilities for job seekers. The only issue is that many candidates do not possess the required skills to fill them. So, how can we overcome this? By offering more flexible and customizable career transition services that focus on upskilling and reskilling.

 

An Essential Need in the Job Market

In just five years, more than half of the skills we believe are essential for today’s workforce will have changed [1] and there is no doubt that the pandemic has created another shift in the skills demanded in the modern workplace. To bring this even more into perspective, the World Economic Forum stated in 2020 that the world is facing a global reskilling emergency and shared the following statistics:

  • As jobs are transformed by technology, more than one billion people will need to be reskilled by 2030.
  • By 2022, 42% of core skills required to perform existing jobs are expected to change.
  • In addition to high-tech skills, specialized interpersonal skills will be in high demand, including sales, human resources, care, and education.

The breakdown of our old ways of doing and thinking has demanded that we evolve. Our previous understanding of successful leadership behaviours has shifted as the focus has turned to competencies such as agility, strategic thinking, empathy, decisiveness, and self-awareness. The time is now to get serious about skills shortages and support our workforce to succeed in this new reality.

 

A More Flexible and Customizable Approach

An employee facing an organizational restructuring may not only need resumé support or interview coaching, but rather an enhanced skill set that prepares them for changes in their role or responsibilities.

Furthermore, a person with extensive experience in a specific field may have trouble navigating the job market when their area of expertise becomes outdated or must be modified to fit a more contemporary industry model. Since the shelf life of a skill has dropped from 30 years to an average of 6 years [2], we must prioritize the need for skills acquisition that will enhance the value of individuals in future workplaces.

Reskilling can ensure an adaptable workforce that enables employees to transition into new roles. Individuals can shift into a position that they may have previously desired but lacked the required skills, and it will help ensure future career success for those who no longer have a place in an organization.

 

The Alternative to One-size-fits-all Type Services

When it comes time to exit employees, a freshly recruited Gen Z won’t require the same career consulting services as a Gen X employee currently in a leadership role, or a Baby Boomer preparing for a well-earned retirement. By offering customizable career transition services such as the Thrive Career Wellness Platform, organizations can set up their departing employees for better success by meeting them where they are at in their careers. While self-assessment, resume review, and interview preparation are still important tools, individuals require greater flexibility in services that will support their next move. As stated by the World Economic Forum, “the COVID-19 economic shock has made the skills gap broader and the need to close it more urgent. This calls for new investments and mechanisms for upskilling and reskilling, for both deeply human skills as well as digital skills.” [3]

 

Here are two different scenarios to help explain:

Sample Candidate #1
Energy Engineer | 25 years’ experience | Unsure about their career path

Facing a prolonged downturn in the oil and gas industry, this job seeker was concerned about where to go next in their career. By using Thrive, they were able to implement the Career Explore Assessment to identify roles they are best suited for. Next, they connected with a career coach who helped further explore their options. This candidate ultimately determined that their existing skills could be built upon to pivot their career and pursue a role in IT. To ensure they had the new skills required to find a job, they took learning courses through EdX and LinkedIn Learning and successfully landed a new role, in a new function, within 12 months.

 

Sample Candidate #2
Human Resources Director | 10 years’ experience | Interested in starting own business

After 10 years in the HR field with a young family at home, this job seeker was interested in exploring how to make their entrepreneurial dreams of starting an online business a reality. Rather than investing time updating their resume and scouring job boards, they utilized the Thrive platform to take entrepreneurial-focused courses, receive entrepreneurial coaching support, attend social media training, and get help with a custom website and marketing materials. In less than nine months, this job seeker was up and running their own small business.

 

Set Your Team Up for Success

While job loss and/or a career shift can seem daunting, it really is the beginning of an exciting journey that can take people to places in their career they could not have previously imagined. By offering a modern career transition experience that supports employees through this change and allows for reskilling, organizations can help set them up for success in the ever-changing job market.

 


[1]  The 10 Vital Skills You Will Need For The Future of Work (2019, April 29). Retrieved September 7, 2020

[2] Career Change Statistics. Retrieved April 20, 2021

[3] Closing the Skills Gap Accelerators. Retrieved April 20, 2021

 

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