Job search, employment, hiring and recruitment already have changed so much in the past few years and it will evolve even more in the future. It does so at an incredible speed and it’s sometimes hard to keep track.
This is why I’d like to outline a few points about what I believe you must have or be to be able to experience career progression and get a proper job in the future. The list might not be complete nor is it in any specific order of importance.
I believe that work in the future will get more decentralized where big office complexes will still exist but everyone will be free to use them or not. People will be able to work completely from home or from the office, whatever makes them the most productive. This trend is already real and more and more companies allow their employees to work from home or sometimes from anywhere they want.
Just because this sounds good at first, does not mean it’s for everybody. Many people I know have been offered the choice to work completely remote but did not like it, because they need humans around them at work. Others flourish when they can do work without disruptions.
It requires a lot of discipline, focus and organization and I personally could not work 100% from my home. I like to work at Starbucks or in an office because I like to have people around me and I appreciate the atmosphere.
I know many people still work in 9-5 jobs and appreciate the balance and separation between work and “life”. However in the future, things will be a little different. For many professionals and managers the usual is already more of a 12hour+ day with six to seven days per week.
I don’t think we will get back to the 9-5 option but also won’t work 24 hours per day. I believe the line between work and private life will diminish because more and more people will be able to do work they are passionate about and that fulfills them. Therefore they will be happier when they get home to their families and also have the choice to do much work from home and the ability to adjust their schedule according to their private life.
Furthermore, if you are passionate about what you do for work, burnout won’t be an option.
It is already important to be up to date with all the digital media widgets, company-internal software, project management tools and everything that is happening online. The internet changes constantly, new startups in online marketing, productivity or apps market arise every day and it’s hard to keep track.
If you apply for a job at Google you need to be aware of their technologies and what is happening in their space.
3. Social Media presence
To be considered to exist, you must have an online presence in the future of some sort. These days it is very important that you are present on Xing and LinkedIn. There is already a saying “If Google can’t find you, you might not even exist”. The generations to come might not even know that there are actually books in a library that you could search through for information.
I also believe that social media presences will drastically change. They will be much more personal, transparent and authentic. Nobody will be able to hide the bad stuff. Therefore reputation will become even more important and will give you an edge over the competitors if your branding score is higher.
In todays terms this could be your LinkedIn profile with 15 great referrals compared to another person with a slightly better technical profile but only 2 recommendations that are mediocre. I would bet on you to win the run for the same job if the employer compares both LinkedIn profiles.
Also social media profiles will become much more dynamic and will not be as static as they are today. It will matter a lot more how much you contribute in groups, discussions, Q&As, events and how much generosity you show towards others by helping them out without an intention in mind. If somebody types in “Java” in the search bar, the person with the best referrals, the best quality content and highest activity level will show up first. If you would like to be that person what can you do to achieve it?
4. A Blog
I decided to separate blogs from the social media presence even though it still is social media. The reason I did it is because blogs are so powerful and important. I will talk a lot more about blogs in the future and their power of building your reputation and personal brand.
Blogs, for the purpose of job search and career development, provide your professional knowledge and your view of the world that you are in. If you are a Software Developer you could write about challenges that you face that could be interesting to others in this area. You could also share your view about 37signals and ruby on rails.
You basically share everything that is related to your values, passion and interests in your professional life with a personal touch. It is your skill set, but dynamic instead of static like in a CV. A blog shows your creativity, organizational skills and many others things.
I believe a blog will be your central hub where you show your capabilities and personality to the professional world. Employers in the future will decide if they want to interview you by surfing through your blog like they do it today with your Xing and LinkedIn profile.
If you look up the word leadership in the dictionary, many of them compare it to management. Maybe this was true in the past but it isn’t any more.
Today, everybody is expected to be a leader, no matter if they are in a management position or not. Leadership has nothing to do with management anymore. Leadership is the ability to lead followers towards a vision by connecting with them on values, passion and interests. It is also the ability to lead yourself. In the future this will be even more essential.
The leader will win every time when in a job interview in comparison with a non-leader. We need leadership much more these days than ever before. Of course not everybody can be a leader, fortunately not. If everybody would have the ability to be one, it would not be special anymore. The world needs both, because without followers there is no leader. The fact that you are reading this blog post and following my blog shows your leadership capability. If you want to dig deeper into this topic, I highly suggest Seth Godin’s book “Tribes“.
6. Innovation and change
This has to do a lot with leadership. Being a heretic – as Seth Godin puts it – and a change addict will help you a lot in your career progression in the future.
Innovation, constant change and adaptions to markets made sure Apple survived many downturns and has now become the 2nd most valuable brand in the world, very close to Coca Cola. If you want to be recognized as a leader in your field, you must innovate and drive change in your work.
7. Socializing and collaboration
Relationships matter more than ever before. The most successful people these days, are no longer the ones with the most experience or with the best education. It’s the people with the most influential relationships that are winning because you can’t walk the way to the top alone. It is crucial to know people.
This has nothing to do with “networking”, it has everything to do with real friends in business. Connect with people based on similar interests, common passion and values and develop friendships instead of collecting business cards and storing them in the registers.
Because you can’t walk to the top alone, it is important that you can communicate your ideas and plans effectively and that you, as a leader, gain the trust of your peers, managers and employees. This is the most effective way to move projects and your career forward.
8. A passion
I am aware that I used this term a lot along with values and interests and will keep doing so in future posts because I believe it is the most effective way to progress your career. It is important to know what your passion is, before you climb the ladder.
Imagine you spend 20 or 30 years climbing a ladder all the way to the top, invest a lot of time that you could have spent with your family and friends and at the very top you realize that the ladder is actually standing at the wrong wall. What then?
You can’t go back, so think twice about what you really want to do every day for the next 20 or 30 years in your professional life because you spend 40-60 hours per week in it!