As we celebrate getting to see the new year 2020 (Happy New Year), it is important to reflect on the milestones and learn. For some, this is the time to plan for one’s career growth in the coming years. It is difficult to maintain a positive outlook towards career prospects in the New Year given there are gloomy reports concerning the state of employment in the country. Recent reports indicate that more than 300 firms have closed in the course of the year. In addition to job losses, it is estimated that 50,000 graduates join the job market every year. Even with the sharp increase in job losses in the country, there is no reason why you should not future proof your career prospects. We look at the lessons learnt in our interactions and interviews with top notch candidates who have succeeded in their careers:
Lesson #1: Learn a new skill
It is often said that those who do not learn eventually rust. This could not be truer than in this day and age where technology is becoming part and parcel of every aspect of life.
It is no longer wise to say “I am a marketing professional, not a techie.” Technology is changing how we work, where we work and the kind of work we do. A World Economic Forum that was carried out recently indicates that 65% of school going children will do a job that does not exist in the current market but is likely to emerge as a result of technological advances in the next few years. It is estimated that the ICT sector in Kenya has been growing at a rate of 10.8% since 2016. This is expected to continue in the near future as the uptake of technology tools such as AI and IOT continues. The sector is regarded as a promising source of job creation but there have been concerns about digital displacements as technological advances render certain jobs obsolete.
Recently, Singapore implemented a plan to prepare its young citizens for the work environment they are going to work in by creating a learning account for all its citizens above the age of 24 years. Account balances can be utilized on acquiring skills from approved training providers.
In France, all employees in the private sector get a learning account from the time they are employed. The account remains operational until they retire. Each employee gets 24 hours of training in a year of full time work until they get to the threshold of 120 hours.
A marketer who understands data analytics is more likely to advance in his or her career than a marketer who lacks these critical skills. Acquisition of skills can be inexpensive due to availability of free online tools such as EdX and Coursera. If technology will shape the future of work, lifelong learning will shape the future of workers. Growth in one’s career in the future is pegged on one’s willingness to learn.
Lesson #2: Make a move
Sometimes, you need to move vertically in your career in order to grow. Sometimes, you need to move horizontally in order to grow in your career. In the not-too-distant past, it was possible to work in one industry until one retires. In today’s dynamic job market, this is unlikely to happen. A global study showed that the average worker today can hold up to 11 jobs over the course of working years. Employment contracts have diversified with an increasing number of open ended contracts and part time contracts being issued by organizations. A report by the McKinsey Global Institute indicates that by 2030, up to 14% of employees globally will need to shift occupational categories in order to meet the needs of a changing labor market. If your current organization lacks opportunities for you to grow, consider moving to another organization. In doing so, you might acquire the skills you need to remain relevant in your skills as well as the much needed experience in your field.
Lesson #3: Think and act like a global citizen
A factory that makes shoes in Kenya can sell them in China through its website or platforms such as Amazon. As technologies improve, firms are finding more efficient ways of running their operations and opportunities beyond the confines of their borders. While there are fears that automation will induce unemployment, there are emerging opportunities in most countries in Africa. Rwanda has positioned itself as the tech startup capital of Africa hence competing with Kenya and other African countries. The gig economy is not limited to the confines of a particular economy. For instance, Andela, a US company provides training for software programmers across Africa using tools that are availed online. The software developers work in Lagos, Kampala as well as Nairobi. Kenyans are finding job opportunities in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Malawi, and South Africa among other African countries.
If opportunities for growth of one’s career are not available locally, it is time to think and act global.
If you are ready for a career change, then reach out to us. Crystal Recruitment is a Leading Recruitment Agency that connects top talents to top brands.