Whether you are starting 2019 as a leader contemplating the future of the business or as an individual keen to look for new opportunities, there is much to consider. At the time of writing, we still don’t know the outcome of the House of Commons Brexit vote, on which so much hinges, while the Fourth Industrial Revolution continues apace with technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics weaving their way into the workplace and our lives.
As usual, the beginning of January sees the major consumer electronics event, CES 2019, taking place in Las Vegas where many of tomorrow’s technologies are showcased today. For those leaders still under-estimating the impact of autonomous cars, robots and drones, it is a high-tech wake-up call, clearly demonstrating the number of major players in the world of business that have their futures invested in technology.
South Korean automaker Kia, for instance, is already posting a vision of a “post autonomous” future when driverless cars are the norm, previewing an AI-based vehicle cabin space that can analyse a driver’s emotional state in real-time. It’s all clever stuff. Meanwhile, the latest drone incident at Heathrow Airport this week reminded us of the power of new technologies and how important it is to understand their potential.
AI is predicted to have a huge effect on jobs and the world of business: as well as eradicate roles it will create new ones and change many existing ones. Surveys frequently warn of a lack of digital skills in general in the workplace and they are cited as the most under-represented in the boardroom where it is evident that different roles will be required in the future.
Individuals looking for their next leadership position must, therefore, closely examine their skill set in the context of this rapidly changing world. If you don’t already interact with AI and machine learning in your next role, there is a distinct possibility that you will in the next two years. And this equally applies at executive level, too.
Calling on career planning and transition support services now can help to address immediate skills, expertise and knowledge gaps so an individual feels confident to put themselves forward for a new position. Discussing aspirations and concerns with a skilled advisor can help identify any shortcomings as well as assess which intervention, such as coaching, mentoring or executive development, will best address them. They can also advise on how to build an all-important personal brand that ensures you appear on a headhunter’s radar.
To ensure true career longevity – especially in rapidly changing times – individuals must look longer term on their career horizon at what the prospects and challenges will be.
Career transition experts can help prepare for this by providing long-term market insights and build robust networks that will link you to valuable connections able to open doors. Rialto Consultancy also enables individuals to draw upon its leadership tool, Rialto Accelerated Leadership Index (RALI), which helps individuals benchmark skills with others across similar and different sectors.
In principal, career planning and transition in the digital age isn’t that different from previously. It is still about being proactive, building a strong personal brand, being prepared to learn new skills no matter what stage you are at in your career, and being prepared to listen to what others think. There is a major difference though, the pace of business today means that it needs to be at an accelerated pace and it has to be ongoing if it is to help individuals react and respond to market conditions. By all means, commit to ‘Dryanuary’ (Dry January) and/or ‘Veganuary’ (avoiding dairy and meat for the month) but do yourself an equal amount of good by resolving to safeguard your short- and long-term career prospects.