How to thrive in a skills-based economy
Updated: Jun 17
When was the last time you changed jobs? If you haven't interviewed in the last one year, at least you know one or two people who did. The world economy was already shifting towards substituting practical skills and relevant industry certifications for formal education in certain industries where job-ready skills tend to be highly valued. The IT industry is a great example where it is possible to land high five to six-figure technology jobs without a 4-year college degree. There are also some healthcare careers that offer opportunities to earn high 5 figures without a 4-year college degree.
The world has been dealing with COVID-19 for over a year, with thousands of jobs eliminated or consolidated into a skeletal crew of home-based workers. The job landscape will never be the same as some eliminated jobs have become obsolete, irrelevant or just no longer make sense for the bottom line and so will never come back. The pandemic has escalated the shift towards skills-based hiring, resulting in higher demand for skills acquisition and development training. It is no longer enough to have a college degree. Industry-specific certifications, as well as soft skills are fast becoming a requirement across all industries.
Skills acquisition and development to the rescue
So how do you stay relevant, or continue to make a decent living in an economy that is fast shifting emphasis towards skills? Depending on your specific situation, there are three viable choices:
Reinvent your current career if possible
Transition into a totally new career
Become an entrepreneur or a small business owner
For many who have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic, facing this challenge turned out to be the push they needed to reinvent themselves and pivot to a career they love, rather than one they found themselves in. For some whose jobs were not affected by the pandemic, the break also provided a time for reflection and self discovery that has resulted in a desire to pursue a radically different path from their current career path. To successfully transition, current skills need to be improved and additional skills need to be acquired and developed. The transition may also include additional education or professional certification. This process can be daunting, challenging and even prohibitive without proper guidance.
This is where skills acquisition and development training comes into play. Online training has become and will continue to be the most viable option to guide and prepare those considering changing careers.
To successfully transition, current skills need to be improved and additional skills need to be acquired and developed. This process can be daunting, challenging and even prohibitive without proper guidance.
What is skills acquisition and development?
Skills acquisition involves repetition of a specific task by an individual which eventually results in the individual's capability to perform that specific task.
Skills development refers to the process of continued repetition and improvement of the acquired skill until the individual becomes competent and able to perform the task without external help or supervision. Examples of some popular skills to consider include digital and social media marketing, data analysis, learning a new spoken language, and lately the use of AI (artificial intelligence).
The key to successful skills acquisition and development is designing a SMART strategy that emphasizes clear goal setting, a path to achieve the set goals and a parameter to measure results and outcome. For successful career transition, it is paramount that you first get clarity about what career you want to pursue, the skills you need to fulfill that goal, what skills you already have and if needed how to acquire additional skills, integrate and apply them to achieve your desired goal.
The key to successful skills acquisition and development is designing a SMART strategy that emphasizes clear goal setting, a path to achieve the set goals and a parameter to measure results and outcome.
S Specific - Be specific about your skills goals
M Measurable - Have a clear parameter to measure success
A Achievable - Set realistic and achievable expectations
R Relevant - Streamline, stick with only what you need
T Timeline - Set a timeline for completing the training
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