How to Stay Relevant as an Employee in the Future of Work

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Developer Experience is not just about the tools and technologies you and your team pick. It’s also about the people in your organizations. In this post, Artur Meyster, founder of Career Karma, writes about how to stay relevant as an employee in the future of work.

With the recent Covid-19 pandemic disrupting every industry around the world, not to mention the disruption caused by advancing technology, it can be easy for any employee to wonder how they will fit into the future of work. At the end of the day, traditional jobs will see a decline in favor of those that are tech-based.

The recent onset of remote work has shown many companies how many of their jobs weren’t exactly necessary for success. In fact, The Washington Post discussed how over 20 million jobs were shed from company payrolls in April alone. Therefore, determining if your skills are relevant to your employers now and in the future of work is important to ensuring the longevity and success of your career. Below are a few of the best ways to ensure that your skills do indeed stay relevant in the uncertain future.

Study Tech Fields

After being in one job for so long, it can be easy to forget what the current job market is looking like. Focus on what is being asked of students and entry-level employees to gain an understanding of the skills needed to enter the workforce. Should you be unfortunate enough to lose your job, relaunching your career may involve picking some of those skills up.

Many tech fields have overlapping hard skills. For example, learn the similarities and differences between some fields, such as computer science vs. computer engineering, to see what you should be focusing on when adjusting your skillset.

When you find the skills that you need to pick up, consider attending an online degree program or some other form of education to acquire those skills. These degrees can often be earned from the comfort of your home and in conjunction with your current job. In fact, you don’t even need to quit the career you have now, but having a tech degree handy may prove useful down the line.

Attend a Coding Bootcamp

Rather than studying tech fields as a whole, you could also focus on a specific skill if you want to update your skills for the future of work. In that regard, learning how to code may be your best bet. Coding is a skill that is being taught in elementary and middle schools now due to how useful it is set to become.

Interestingly enough, the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that this field is set to decrease by 9 percent in the coming years. However, this is not indicative of the fact that the field is dying, but rather evidence as to the number of new tech fields that emerged from this skill. For perspective, software development is a field that uses coding extensively and is set to see a 17 percent growth in the next few years.

Coding may seem to be a complex skill for you to pick up on the surface, but can actually be learned by attending a trade school or coding bootcamp in as little as a few months. Technology has made this skill available to anyone who is looking to learn and this opportunity should absolutely be taken by anyone hoping to stay relevant in the future of work.

See Who Your Company is Hiring

Perhaps one of the best ways to stay relevant to your company is to simply look at who is being hired. Examine the job openings on your company website and see what skills are being required for the career. A large number of tech jobs require analytical and precise workers, so it may be proactive to see if you have any of the analytical skills looked for by employers.

Should your company be rapidly transitioning to being dominated by technology, it will first be apparent by the employees working at the company. If you are part of only a few traditional workers left at the company, it is in your best interest to brush up your skillset with modern skills that are valuable to an employer.

Conclusion

There is no guarantee that your skills will be completely relevant in the future of work. Undoubtedly, there are a number of new fields that will emerge that require unprecedented skills that only younger generations will have. That’s just how creative destruction works. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t take time today in an attempt to adjust your skills for that future. There are ways to stay relevant in the future of work, regardless of the career you hold now, and doing so should be the priority of any modern employee.

Artur Meyster is the CTO of Career Karma (YC W19), an online marketplace that matches career switchers with coding bootcamps. He is also the host of the Breaking Into Startups podcast, which features people with non-traditional backgrounds who broke into tech. You can find Artur on twitter and linked in.