Saturday 19 August 2017

Make Your Own Lane: Staying Relevant To Evolving Business Needs

Yesterday I received a call from an ex colleague. I retired from Corporate almost fours years back and since that time, she is one person who kept in touch with me on a regular basis. Immediately after I quit, she moved out too.

The Difference

I retired from Corporate. She quit to join another company

The Exits

In these four years, there were so many people we both knew from the same company who moved to greener pastures (or yellower). Some joined back after a brief stint in entrepreneurship (Organic Farming), some moved out to become independent professionals (Wealth Management), others joined the startup 
ecosystem (Teaching or Coaching).

I mention yellower because none of them really got there where they hoped to reach. There is still a lot of time to achieve what they have set out to. However I see the unspoken issue - failure to add skills. They went for their share in the world with the same corporate skills - people management, process management etc.

Self Management is the need of the hour

Yesterday’s call was not about those who moved out. It was about another common colleague who is still in that firm and has the axe hanging on her head.

The trigger for this blog is not the one who is dealing with the axe or their kind. It is not about the job market or the need to establish alternate incomes for your financial well-being.  

It is about who understands the need to up skill, to stay relevant and remain competent in the global workforce. 

The smarter ones by now have already joined courses, engaged in in-house training or aligned to expert coaching to add skills and suit themselves to evolving business needs - inside and outside their current firms

The one who called was far too happy with domain expertise only, absolutely clueless about the startup ecosystem, social media power, the growing need to brand people for who they are and not just what they do, digitally dormant with skill set that is easily replaceable by a fresh graduate. It is they who need the wake-up call 

Learn Skills to Stay Relevant
What is the point in getting a degree in Interior Designing if you have to pick up calls in a call center?
Does it make sense to complete PMP certification, if you are on the verge of opening a digital marketing agency?
Why would you go for that course in Digital Marketing, if you had to work as HR Business partner in BPO environment?

Many are still in their make believe cocoon. Scratch the surface and this is what they have in their minds. Some of this was part of our discussion - her rationale mostly.

Robots are not so easily affordable, so we are still a few decades away from Robots being main stream

Jobs are safe. There are no threats. Just media hype

There are still openings in IT. Having openings in company’s website and closing open positions is really not the same thing.

My role cannot be automated

My contribution and learning has significant impact here – What are you learning? What you think you are learning is actually gathering required knowledge to deliver your job and meet key result areas. It has nothing to do with the world outside.

My salary is too less as per industry standards. My boss is the one who is in the firing line for the kind of package he draws

While the boss is thinking – If I can show cost cut by reducing head count, that should go well for the next few quarters

Image Credit: Canva Design

Get Real!!

To travel well and have a fruitful journey, you need to be appropriately equipped - Create that mental space to accommodate new memories and new learning.

Skill enhancement is to stay relevant in your work journey – You cannot run the show forever with an older version of available resources. Human resources do need recharge, refill and re-skill to be a capable global workforce.

Write to to know more about your skill gaps.

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