What will the employment picture look like in the future in Canada? Looking at some developing trends in the marketplace can provide us with some insight into what’s around the corner. The following is a synthesis of some of these trends courtesy of The Brookfield Institute. We have yet to see whether these trends will have either a positive or negative impact; regardless, they open up questions, many of which are hard to answer at this time.
For example, if mental health issues continue their upward trend through the use of technology, how will this impact all of us? Will artificial intelligence be able to perform creative tasks in the future, leaving entire segments of the workforce irrelevant? When are truck drivers out of a job? Will AI and robotics lead to mass unemployment?
According to Brookfield, digital skills will tend to be in high demand particularly those associated with Microsoft Office tools, data skills including spreadsheets and machine learning skills having computers react without having to be programmed. System infrastructure skills, IT support, software product development skills related to the development of new digital products both web or software-based are projected to be in high demand. The ability to be able to code is essential in the new digital economy. But being proficient in Information Technology and its applications is only part of the picture.
We need to be able to develop our stories or narratives and make people feel welcome and engaged. This is a special group of skills called “soft skills” that Brookfield as well as others endorse as highly desirable both on the job and during those times of transition when we are looking for work. So, how do I develop my soft skills?
Refining your brand:
At Change Works Interactive we get clients to begin thinking about some of the narratives that play an important role in their lives. A narrative is an account of a series of related events or experiences. The stories we tell are used as explanations for our behaviour, sharing our history, or as a way to articulate our values. Similarly, we want to be able to share our stories in the context of work.
More commonly this sharing occurs both in formal and informal environments. Informally, this is done with our families and friends; a more formal environment would be during a job interview, for example. Interestingly, LinkedIn Talent Solutions lists the following soft skills as the most important skills employers most want. They include adaptability; being able to add to the culture; collaboration; leadership; growth potential; and prioritization. Think about how you may answer the following questions as you begin to develop and refine the important soft skills just mentioned.
“Tell me about a time when you had to change or brought about a change in your organization. What happened? How did you/others respond to the change?”
“What is it about your personality, strengths, interests, or passions that would add to ours at ABC Company?”
“Tell about a time when you demonstrated you were an important part of a team. What happened?”
“Give me a time when you felt you led by example. What was the result?”
“Describe a time when you volunteered to expand your knowledge at work instead of being instructed to do so.”
“Tell about a time when you had to juggle several projects at the same time. How did you determine what would get done and when?”