How To Thrive In An Evolving Digital Landscape
The digitization taking place across industries in the U.S. is creating a seismic shift in how employers are thinking about their future staff requirements and how they recruit. This change is reshaping more than companies’ bottom lines, it’s reshaping how they build and grow their teams. As technology continues to impact the workplace at an accelerating rate, business professionals, regardless of their industry, must keep pace, adapt and expand their existing skill set in order to be considered a valuable candidate or employee.The evidence of this shift can be seen in the birth of dozens of new jobs and job titles in recent years like the Chief Marketing Technologist (CMT), whose job is equal parts strategist, creative director, technology leader and teacher. The Digital Storyteller, or Chief Digital Officer (CMO), is another new role that has evolved recently as the need to collaborate across marketing, sales, publishing development and in-house IP teams to foster digital thinking through a creative and distribution context has evolved. Lastly the explosive demand for the new role of UX/UI designers (user experience and user interface, respectively) is more proof of jobs being created as in this case companies need to ensure that the experiences their consumers have on their websites are simple, intuitive and fun.
In a world where the skills needed to succeed are rapidly evolving, professionals are left to ask themselves, what should I be learning and what skills should I be developing to “future-proof” my career?
At a high level, the answer to this question is quite simple: To stay relevant in the digital economy, professionals must demonstrate the capability to constantly learn. More powerful than the possession of a laundry list of skills is the proof that you can learn new skills and adapt to solve complex and novel problems. Being able to demonstrate the ability to learn and adapt in changing environments is paramount for professionals today. It’s impossible to have all the skills needed BUT it IS POSSIBLE to prove you can learn new skills.
Versatility is king today and will be in the future. Wherever you are in your career and whatever industry you are working in, being mindful of the job market and the evolution of work is essential. No longer are jobs static, work is evolving faster than ever before and to be the most prepared candidate possible, you must put emphasis on keeping ahead through your own learning and a strong network. A loaded and impressive resume can get your foot through any door, but it’s an ability to quickly learn new skills and apply them to your area of expertise that will make you an indispensable employee.
There is perhaps no better illustration of the need to change and grow with technology than that of the phone industry. What started off as a wired, stationary device capable of only making and receiving calls has evolved into a mobile personal computer with what seems like limitless, and ever-evolving, capabilities. Anyone who has worked in the telephone industry for longer than a year has undoubtedly experienced profound shifts, and those with a decade or more of experience must hardly recognize their industry. In fact, nobody even refers to phone companies as “phone companies” anymore but rather as “mobile carriers” or even “media companies”. The critical skills phone companies have needed to remain competitive has taken significant turns several times the past few decades and its showing no signs of slowing down.
You don’t just deal with change, you enjoy it
Employers today aren’t looking for candidates that just “do well” with sudden change – they want to build a team made up of creative individuals who welcome it and, even more so, anticipate it, drive it and relish it. If you’re interviewing for a job, consider giving an example of a time in your career when you had to quickly change direction on an assignment or project with only a moment’s notice or even better a time you saw a need to change, did the research, gathered the support and led the change. Trust me, you will stand out. I guarantee you that most of you have done this in your current and prior jobs – spend the time reflecting and identifying these moments – it’ll be worth the investment.