Covid-19 is expected to wipe out 195 million jobs globally. This unprecedented level of disruption to global economic activities is sending shockwaves through all able workers as job security is more uncertain now than ever.
However, job security has been getting more and more uncertain even before the pandemic. People are getting multiple post-secondary or tertiary degrees as some call it ‘the spread of credentialism.’ It’s not just about degrees; people are taking on extra hobbies, side hustles, and signing up for courses. The diversity of skills is now an explicit requirement for many competitive jobs especially as you try to move up the ladder.
What’s interesting is that people are starting to realize you can have a completely different background but may have a lot of transferable skill sets. For instance, personal trainers can easily transition into a sales role as you have client management skills and know how to get your clients to keep on doing something even if they don’t want to!
Bartenders can be great salesmen or real estate agents as you know how to gauge people’s emotions, draw them into engaging conversations quickly, and stay calm in high-pressure situations.
So whether or not you are sure about where your next chapter would be, you should ponder about what you can do now to best prepare yourself for whatever lies ahead of you.
1. Imagine the Future as Played in a Movie
Now most people dismiss the “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” question as obsolete and incongruent with current times. As we grow and learn, so do our dreams. But you have to keep envisioning your future to see what you want your life to be based on what you know today.
It’s not just about jobs. Think about where you want to live. It doesn’t have to be a specific location. Do you want to live in an eco-friendly house where you have a study room outlooking the forest and be able to farm or garden? A good trick is to imagine your future life as a short movie and see what the plot would be.
This will help awaken your intellectual curiosities and the kind of skills you want to have so you get closer to living out the movie of your dreams.
2. Tapping into your intellectual curiosities
Before you go running off with ambitious goals, consider what you are curious about. It could be anything. Have you always wondered how the street performers put an entire sword down their throat and want to learn more about the art of sword swallowing? Or are you curious about how people design assembly lines at factories?
Intellectual curiosity doesn’t mean it has to be something incredibly sophisticated or academic. It simply refers to anything and everything you find interesting enough to do some research into. Follow the direction your curiosity leads you into. Document your thoughts before moving onto the next step.
Since you haven’t landed on your next career yet, you should consider what you want to be doing, regardless of whether or not you have the skills today for it, and let that shape your next career. Your next career should be based on the ideal life of your choice, not the other way around.
3. Find options where you get the best bang for your buck
There are many ways to attain new knowledge and skills. You can do it by watching Youtube videos, reading books, simply taking on side jobs to learn in the field, etc. As with anything with value, the best method is to get proper guidance from the experts.
Online courses are thus a great option for someone who is trying to peruse and dip their toes in different areas. They are affordable and flexible. For certain courses, they even offer free apprenticeship to help you go beyond casual learning and actually solidify your skills. If you are going to take on this new challenge, make sure that you do more than just watching course videos online. Read relevant books, participate in forums to discuss relevant topics, follow industry newsletters, etc. The best learning is always immersive: Go big or go home!