Surfing the wave of employability

April 4, 2019 - Career Tips - Workplace Trends

Breaking news: the world of work is witnessing radical and rapid changes. In this new reality, the concept of employability is becoming key to successfully pilot one’s professional journey (yeah, as you know “career” got stuck in the 20thcentury 😉 ). Here are a few tips to help you surf the new wave.

A shift of paradigm

The generational change, the digital transformational tsunami, new political, economic and environmental challenges are shaping day after day our work environment, which is becoming more and more VUCA – for volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous.  All of this fundamentally questions our relation to work, bringing on the table the need for more agility, mobility, emerging skills – and resilience, too.

It’s a radical shift of paradigm: it seems today we should think of ourselves as LEGO bricks, being able to adapt and integrate into different teams and constellations – and to remain useful in the long run, while in the past, it was okay to be a piece of puzzle, expecting to remain in the same layout as long as possible. In this new context, the concept of employability takes on an unprecedented importance. It can be defined as the ability and willingness to steer one’s professional evolution and to continuously adapt one’s skills and abilities to market demands. To say it clearly: in the new world of work, employability IS the new job security!

The concept of employability brings its share of new implications to people:

But! There is no question that employability is a shared responsibility between individuals and companies. Let’s get more ambitious here: beyond a question of social responsibility, it does become a top priority for companies, a real performance and productivity lever, as it does help to develop skills companies will need in the future, attract future talents by strengthening the employer brand, and unleash people is potential – by helping companies become more agile in a changing environment. The message is pretty clear: “Dear Employers, it is urgent to integrate the development of employability in the talent management agenda!”

Soft is the new Hard (as in Skills)

Continuously improving one’s working skills is essential – and it is just one, yet fundamental aspect of employability. But as an excellent Forbes article recently pointed out, “it’s not about what you know”. Or at least, less and less.

“With research showing that less and less importance is placed on conventional intelligence and with studies indicating that it can actually be counterproductive at work to employ too much of one’s IQ while at the same time having organizations move away from formal education, what role does knowledge still play in this brave new world of soft skills and humanity?”

Duena Blomstrom, Forbes online, 14 January 2019

Of course, when it comes to Hard Skills, the digital and tech world can look a bit ruthless, when the hottest skills have an average lifespan of… 6 months! We said continuous development, didn’t we? 😉

Soooo, what are the Hard Skills that companies want the most in 2019? Here are two articles that will give you some insigths – and even better, concrete suggestions as how to develop them!

Oh and by the way, are you more of a Generalist, a Specialist or a T-shaped profile?

One clue: one of the three propositions is a buzzword and a combination of the two others. Two articles that are worth the read: Why T-shaped people? (in English) and Vous êtes plutôt généraliste, spécialiste ou T-Shaped? (In French).

And so finally, the Soft Skills. The 2019 Global Talent Trends report from LinkedIn found that 91 percent of employers agreed that Soft Skills development is very important to the future of recruiting and HR; 80 percent claim that Soft Skills are increasingly important to company success; and 92 percent say Soft Skills matter as much or more than Hard Skills! According to LinkedIn, the top 5 Soft Skills that will get you hired in 2019 are:

  1. 1/ Creativity
  2. 2/ Persuasion
  3. 3/ Collaboration
  4. 4/ Adaptability
  5. 5/ Time Management

Despite the debates surrounding automation and artificial intelligence, a McKinsey study predicts that demand for creativity in the global employment will significantly rise by 2030. And so: those who will have taken the time to develop Soft Skills will undoubtedly have the edge in the future workplace! 

Are you paddling already or still on the beach? ;-)

Time for action! Here are a few reflections and tips in improving your employability NOW:

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