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How to stay successful while your job is transforming

During times of rapid change, being able to focus on the things you can control, and influence is key for wellness and mindset: What could be one thing you want to start doing, stop doing, or continue doing that you know is benefiting your learning and development? What type of shift in your everyday conversations and interactions would remind you of your innate ability to flex and adapt?

Think back to your very first job: how many of those skills are you still using today? What skills might be worth sharpening up today that you think will be useful for your last job? Sometimes the small simple actions can create incredible benefits over time. As they say: ‘the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second-best time is today’. This rings true as we discuss our future readiness at work.

How can we take small steps today to set ourselves up for future success? How do we not only survive but thrive in the ever-changing workplace? How do we tap into Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other new technologies to give us a competitive edge? Our goal isn’t to panic about the future but to feel poised and prepared, looking forward with positivity and empowerment.

So, what insights are we gathering in the coaching space about people’s readiness for the future? It varies widely. Some are excited, others are just going with the flow. A common concern is how prepared they are for new roles or transformations within their organisations. One person mentioned their company’s restructuring is happening more frequently – every few years instead of five to seven. This highlights the challenge of navigating a rapidly changing job landscape. People transitioning into new roles or adapting to shifts are unsure of the best path – whether to be proactive or cautious.

So how do we stay successful during job transformations? It might involve balancing current responsibilities with agility for future changes. For instance, a McKinsey report from 2018 predicted that by 2030, 375 million workers worldwide might need to change occupational categories due to digitisation, automation and AI. This trend has likely accelerated with hybrid working and technologies like ChatGPT becoming mainstream. These changes demand quickness and responsiveness, creating a noisy and dynamic environment.

Continuous learning

Employers need to help people feel empowered and thrive amid these changes. For example, investing in personal development can be cost-effective. The cost of replacing an employee can be up to 213% of their annual salary for executive positions. So, investing in training is often cheaper than hiring new staff. This not only motivates employees but also empowers them with more versatility in the future.

Continuous learning is crucial. No one knows everything, and adapting to new roles requires ongoing skill development. Staying informed about industry trends and learning from others is vital. If an organisation doesn’t invest in its people, it risks losing them to competitors who will. Regular one-on-one conversations about future development are essential to understanding and supporting employees’ needs.

Human connection & networking

It’s important to ask future-focused questions to prevent getting lost in day-to-day tasks without understanding the broader context. Building a network is crucial to avoid being blindsided by changes in your organisation. Networking helps you stay informed and make strategic decisions.

Networking is essential for understanding processes and building strong relationships. It helps new leaders by connecting them with innovative colleagues and providing a support system. Establishing boundaries and good connections with collaborators allows for co-creating success.

When joining a new team or department, leaders should approach with modesty, demonstrating their capabilities rather than boasting. This approach strengthens relationships and networks, which are critical in a transforming world. Leaders should leverage their networks to fill skill gaps while continually learning and upskilling. Maintaining a network-first mindset is crucial because past connections can facilitate future collaborations and success.

As a manager, it’s important to create networking opportunities for new team members. During onboarding, ensure they meet key influencers and feel supported. This builds their confidence and encourages them to contribute positively. Networking and relationship building are vital skills, especially in hybrid working environments where global competition is fierce.

Building relationships based on trust is essential for future success. Emotional intelligence and social awareness also play key roles in networking. Being curious and keeping an ear to the ground can spark valuable insights and connections.

Effective networking and relationship building help solve problems faster and create smoother workflows. These skills are vital in maintaining success during transformation. Future-proofing oneself involves understanding personal value, staying well, and managing physical and mental health. Managers should ensure their teams are supported and empowered, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and collaboration.

Be adaptable

As our jobs transform, it’s essential to remain adaptable and flexible. Believing in new technologies is important, but we must also be aware of their limitations and unintended consequences. Our value lies in our ability to stay informed, adaptable and proactive. By doing so, we ensure that we can navigate the future successfully, no matter how noisy and unpredictable it becomes.

AI and automation are transforming workplaces, but they come with challenges. AI works well when everyone follows the rules, but humans often try to game the system. For example, factory inspections revealed discrepancies between automated reports and the reality, highlighting the need for human oversight. Similarly, some supermarkets are reconsidering self-checkouts because the savings are outweighed by increased theft. These examples show that while technology is powerful, it can’t replace human judgement and vigilance.

Evolving requires the ability to continually transform. Staying adaptable and flexible is crucial, especially in the workplace, where roles and methods can shift. For instance, if businesses revert to having staff at tills, organisations must adjust their leadership, onboarding and communication strategies accordingly. This requires upskilling to ensure effective collaboration and networking. Managers who resist change need to recognise the importance of adapting to the evolving world around them.

Be curious about your immediate network and explore their connections. Building and maintaining these relationships can provide valuable support and opportunities.

Networking is key to success, whether you’re inside an organisation or looking to join one. Finally, continuous learning keeps options open and enables fresh beginnings, ensuring readiness for future challenges.

During times of rapid change, being able to focus on the things you can control, and influence is key for wellness and mindset: What could be one thing you want to start doing, stop doing, or continue doing that you know is benefiting your learning and development?  What type of shift in your everyday conversations and interactions would remind you of your innate ability to flex and adapt?

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