There was a time when the willingness to work would be enough to secure a job. During this period, calloused hands would be a strong enough statement of work ethics. Unfortunately, that time has long passed, and it has given place to a more complex and competitive employment market.
In today’s reality, workers undergo an elaborate set of tests and interviews in hopes of getting a job. Adding to the complexity, an onward global movement toward automation will force many out of the workforce. To increase your chances of getting hired, it’s fundamental to understand the new reality and adopt strategies to boost your employability.
The future of work
The last two years of global instability accelerated changes in the workplace. Smarter, faster, and cheaper became the new progress’s motto. Yet, as the Fourth Industrial Revolution consolidates itself, data shows that the advancement of technology and smart automation is a bitter-sweet reality. On the one hand, the world has access to interconnectivity, speed, and convenience as added features to all sorts of goods and services. Yet, on the other hand, these advancements have a profound impact on the workforce, expressly for workers that haven’t caught up with the technological transformation.
A study conducted by McKinsey Global Institute shows that the pandemic sped up the tendencies toward automation, remote work, and e-commerce. As a result, it predicts that 25% more workers may need to switch occupations. The report examined eight countries (China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Spain, The United Kingdom, and the United States) that represent “half of the global population and 62 percent of GDP.”
With more focus on technology and innovation, it doesn’t surprise that less-skilled workers may be left behind. According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Work report, 75 million jobs will be displaced until the end of 2022. In 2020, the Society for Human Resource Management and Willis Towers Watson shared research predicting that “85 percent of jobs in 2030 have not been invented yet.”
We will witness an increased concentration of high-skill jobs. Lower-wage workers will face hardship finding a new job if they don’t advance their skills to switch occupations. There is no safe place regardless of your position on the scale (low, middle, or high-skilled). As the economy evolves rapidly, you must adapt to the new demands to increase your chances of getting hired.
1 – Adopt a growth mindset
There is a common saying that the ocean can’t sink a ship unless the ship has a hole that allows the water inside. You may disagree with the expression, but it’s a good metaphor for the first strategy to increase your chances of getting hired and succeeding in life—the growth mindset.
According to professors Adailton Azevedo and Danilo Pastorelli, experts in economy and behavioral education, most schools foster a fixed mindset that compromises creativity and innovation. As a result, students – who will later become professionals during the academic journey – learn that grades are more important than the learning experience itself.
The idea of a single correct answer was foundational to the past educational models when schools bred professionals for the first three industrial revolutions. However, in today’s reality, professionals are expected to offer value to the work they perform. And that is only possible if they aren’t afraid to explore and experiment.
“We need to develop a growth mindset. Reject the fear of making mistakes, learn when we do and be willing to try different things. We can develop that ability at any point in our lives,” says Pastorelli.
Your mental attitude has the power to sink or save you. By adopting a growth mindset, individuals become more creative and resilient in the face of challenges. They have a problem-solving attitude and are quick to bounce back when things go wrong. It is the type of mentality that cutting-edge companies seek, for it drives business innovation.
2 – Offer a good product
Knowingly or not, professionals are trying to sell themselves as a product when they look for a job. They are trying to convince the recruiter that their ability to work is an essential asset for a company to have.
Being good at a given skill is not enough anymore. For Azevedo, professionals must adopt a novel perception of their work. They need to develop strategies to differentiate themselves from the competition, almost as entrepreneurs would do to promote their company.
“If my work is a product, then I am a whole company. I need to adopt a strategic vision to get a job. Learn how to prepare [for an interview]. Learn how to sell my product and perfect it to make it even more competitive and attractive to the market.”
A large percentage of the workforce was spoon-fed the idea that academic performance would be sufficient to secure a great job. Good grades may open the doors in today’s global economy but won’t guarantee the deal’s closing. Remember, know your value, offer an attractive product, and take the necessary time to invest in yourself as a brand.
3 – Create a life plan, not only a career one
A life of success is a marathon, not a sprint. Albeit the sentence is overused, genuine success doesn’t come overnight. So pace yourself and take the time to figure out what makes sense in your own life.
There is nothing wrong with investing in a career plan, but life is complex. A job is only part of it. Drafting a life plan gives the advantage of holistically identifying your values, talents, and purpose.
In western societies, we expect adolescents to know what they want from life at such a young age and with little to no knowledge about the world. After they graduate, a vast majority don’t have the chance to further exploration. Most stay trapped under the false security of a job. Self-knowledge, or understanding your capacities, allows you to identify your potential across various possible career paths.
Knowing what you bring to the table can help increase your chances of getting hired. It shows confidence and that you are invested in your personal growth. Bear in mind that a life plan is a draft. It needs constant improvement.
4 – Be ready for change
Change can’t be touched. Nobody can single-handed control it or hold it back. So there are only three choices: leading the change, adapting yourself to it, or being swallowed by it.
The world is evolving with unprecedented speed. Every aspect of modern life has undergone some transformation due to technology. It would not be different with the employment market.
New job descriptions appear on the search daily. Remote and hybrid work opportunities are on the rise. Like never before, entire teams are spread worldwide, working collaboratively in distinct time zones. Innovation and creativity are precious commodities everywhere.
To stay ahead of the competition and increase your chances of getting hired, you must show you can adapt to an evolving market.
Yes, changes are daunting. But less so if you understand it as an opportunity for growth. The reason why people stay put is because the comfort zone is amazingly comfortable. It doesn’t require hard work. Change, on the other hand, demands active effort. You must put in the work. It can be painful, but it grants the best rewards.
Good or bad, we would love to read your thoughts about the future of work. Find us on LinkedIn.