Will You be Marketable in 20 Years?

In order to have long-term, successful careers, all of us should rethink how we’ll stay marketable in the future workforce.

O & A: The Twin Perils of Future Work

It probably won’t surprise you that outsourcing and automation will the bane of many twenty-first century employees’ existence.  If a computer will be able to do your job or if your job can be done by a cheaper employee in a less costly geographic location, it will be gone.

Key Must-Have Qualities

The most critical quality for marketable employees in 20 years will be the ability to problem-solve and add value to every task they are assigned and for every customer and colleague with whom they interact. Self-discipline and internal drive will also be important because the traditional office environment is already disappearing in favor of telecommuting, round-the-clock hours, and cross-geography collaboration.  Although technology will be available to track what you’re working on and when, you’ll need to be productive without the boss looking over your shoulder.

You must be able to seamlessly multi-task. Future workers will need to be comfortable with rapid change, will be expected to learn a wide array of skills from strategic planning and hiring to computer programming and design and will be expected to constantly upgrade those skills.  Employees of all ages and levels will contribute creative thinking and operational excellence to their initiatives.

Getting Up to Speed

How can you prepare now for a fruitful career in 2021?   In addition to honing your technical knowledge and functional expertise in areas like customer service, you should brainstorm ways to position yourself well in the future marketplace.  This means developing innovative processes, products, and services, and finding efficient new ways of performing routine responsibilities.  You’ll stand out in your current organization, and by the time 2021 roles around, you’ll have an extensive portfolio to showcase your substantial worth to any employer.

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