PwC recently conducted research in conjunction with LinkedIn regarding the “Talent Adaptability” of professionals. The detailed survey attributed costs attributed to an ability to adapt to new skill requirements in terms of productivity levels and recruitment requirements. The premise is that if a country has an adaptable and mobile workforce, the benefits to the economy are huge.
The 21st Century has been characterised by the sweeping changes to our social and working practices. The all pervading nature of the internet and how it impinges on our daily lives have had far reaching consequences in our professional lives. No longer are jobs entrenched in the same activities for decades at a time, requirements evolve and change at the rate of knots. Whole industries can spring up in the matter of months, and companies that have been permanent fixtures for years and years are jeopardised by upstart companies who can gain far reaching exposure extremely quickly.
The rate of change requires a work force who are equally adaptable. We need to produce people who are confident learners, with solid generic work skills, but an appetite for lifelong learning and an ability to weather storms and carry their can with these changing requirements. The winners in this new economy will be the people with great methods for self improvement, the desire to learn continuously, and an entrepreneurial spirit.
Our universities should be the breeding ground for creating this type of person. University is a time in your life where you can explore a vast field of interests within the framework of organised education. University is less about learning a ridiculous amount of detail in one subject area as it is about learning how to learn. Our early years education system prepares robots designed to pass the plethora of stringent tests imposed by statistics dictators in high government, and do not create the autonomous learners we require in an increasingly dynamic economy. As a result, it is imperative that our universities pick up the slack and develop people who know how to learn.
For many, the step into university education is a large one. No longer do you have teachers who tell you what to revise – you have to make judgement calls about what is valuable for your education and what is waste. You need to be able to discern the important from the unimportant, and the winners are the people who can distil a topic down to it’s constituent, simplest parts – the people who can see the patterns, connections and applications of theory. This is a skill that will propel people in any career. The people who can determine the value in something, and pursue this avenue ruthlessly will be the person who climbs the ladder the fastest. The person who chooses to learn Social Media Marketing in his spare time to propel his career will be a winner, just as the person who can code, who can speak a foreign language, who can sell, network and build relationships. These generic skills can be learnt and achieved in your spare time.
Adaptability is only successful if you have a strong foundation from which to adapt. Generic employment skills such as working in a team, communication, organisation, time management, networking, salesmanship, leadership et al are the foundations upon which any successful employee is built. If you have the generic employment skills down pat, you will be able to adapt to any changing requirements our economy may throw at you. Universities have great careers departments nowadays that teach such employability skills, along with professional passports and accredited courses. These will stand a student in great stead for being adaptable.
We know that our economy is becoming more skills based. The person who has a plethora of skills and can couple this with adaptability is the new Renaissance Person. You will be the person who carries the economy forward through these tumultuous times. Developing generic, applicable skills is the challenge for any graduate. Graduates who are willing to invest their time in this self-development, Kloodle is here for you. Your profile will showcase these skills and abilities. We will help you stand out from the crowd as you deserve to. To get creating your professional profile, sign up now.