When the competition is fierce, turn to your core strengths

The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs report and Mercer’s Global Talent Trends report both indicate that reskilling will be a fundamental need for the future workforce. Tied to future of work, 73 million jobs that will likely be displaced but the good news is that 133 million new jobs are projected to emerge by 2022.

In a world like this, I often ask myself, “how do I prepare myself for the new jobs being created?” Below are key strategies I’ve gleaned through my own experience as a marketing professional.

  1. Acknowledge that the skillset needed will be different: Demand is rising for technology skills, creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, active listening and the ability to work with others. In fact, in marketing, soft skills are perceived to be far more important than hard skills, especially in working in dynamic, diverse environments where creative thinking and initiative remain essential.
  2. Hone your analytical skills: Analytics are gaining ground. It’s nearly impossible to think of an area where analytics haven’t yet taken the main stage. Serena Williams’ coach, Patrick Mouratouglu, was one of the first tennis coaches to analyze where an opponent would be most likely to place a serve or hit a shot from crosscourt. Armed with this data, Serena improved her tennis game tremendously over the years. This video, by Mercer’s Workforce Sciences Institute founder Haig Nalbantian, is a great source for learning why analytics are important today, and will continue to be in the future.
  3. Build on your fundamentals: The UX/UI profession is fairly new to the scene. It won’t be long before new jobs like these that combine art and design will emerge. As individuals, often we know our strengths and where our interest lies. So how can we take a step back to discover what more we can do with our skills? It’s important to apply feedback as well. What are others telling you you’re good at? How can you take those skills to the next level? Can you apply your strengths to your daily job? I think we all can — it’s just a matter of tuning into our core strengths to step into the best version of ourselves.
  4. Take on opportunities to learn new skills: Right now, 55% of companies are doing some kind of reskilling to prepare for the future of work. In fact, two of the top demands employees have in curating their careers are to be given the opportunity to grow, and to be provided with ongoing learning opportunities. As employees, we want to learn more. We want to develop ourselves. My biggest learning experience came from being a mobile employee. This experience taught me a lot about change management and adapting to new environments and challenges. If given the opportunity to try something new or make a change, don’t think twice. There is no better way to challenge yourself than getting out of your comfort zone.
  5. Own your own career, with mentors on your side: Often times we wait for our managers, or for a magic wand to appear, to direct us toward our next career journey. But in a world with a growing gig economy and a rising number of contingent workers, this more passive approach is quickly diminishing. Instead, we see employees taking on more and more responsibility for creating their own career paths. But even though independence can be a very appealing choice in guiding one’s career, having the support of mentors, and having colleagues to look up to, shouldn’t be minimized.
  6. Copy, improve and share: Rafael Nadal, another tennis great, once said in an interview, “The best advice I can give is to copy the best practice.” Ask yourself how you can leverage and build upon your colleagues’ successes. Learning from colleagues — from all generations and all levels in the organization — offers a quick win for everybody. When we’re all working toward the same goals with a “sharing” mindset, we can unlock the key to greater success.
Işil Çayirli Ketenci
by Işil Çayirli Ketenci

Global Marketing Leader- Career Business at Mercer