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over 3 years ago by Debbie Lloyd

Future-proofing your skills for 2018 and beyond

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According to an article from CV Library the world of work is changing, and it’s happening faster than most of us can keep up with. There are many reasons for these changes.

Technology is rapidly altering the way people work, buy and communicate, globalisation is creating an ultra-mobile workforce and employees today have different career expectations than their predecessors just a few decades ago. As a result, Futurologists and labour experts claim we’re facing a new industrial revolution that will change the very nature of work at its core.

So what can we expect from this fast-expanding digital age?

Anywhere working


Flexible working no longer means only working from home or in the office. Anywhere working blurs the boundaries of countries and time zones and gives employees the opportunity to work in any corner of the globe.

So, are the days of working in an office from nine to five really over?

Not quite. Not every company or country can make anywhere working a reality.

For this style of working to be successful, the right technology, especially video collaboration tools, are crucial. And naturally, fast internet speeds are needed to support this technology.

Those lucky enough to work from anywhere in the world can enjoy avoiding the stress of the office commute, having more free time for their hobbies and saving on travelling costs.

New working arrangements


As we’re moving into a more service-orientated economy and adapt to diversity in the workplace, employers can no longer make do with a one-size-fits-all approach.

Recent times have seen the rise of wage earners, teleworkers and small business owners. With more on-demand, on-call, casual, contract and voucher-based work available, many people choose to freelance or job share.

Full-time employment may not be the common standard of the future, as more and more people prefer to set their own schedules, choose their assignments and work independently.

Must-have skills for 2018 and beyond


To survive the workplace of the future and make sure you’re employable, you’ll need a mix of social and cognitive skills. These are often referred to as 21st-century skills.

Critical thinking: By looking at an issue objectively, you make an accurate judgement, often within a short space of time.

Problem-solving: You work out the best solution by asking the right questions first.

Collaboration and teamwork: Given the interconnected nature of business, you thrive as a team and can collaborate across networks.

Active learning and adaptability: You pick up new skills quickly and use a range of tools to solve a problem. This is also known as ‘learnability’.

Initiative and entrepreneurialism: You are willing to look beyond tried-and-tested ways and try something new.

Fluent oral and written communication: You avoid fuzzy thinking and articulate great ideas fluently.

Analysing and investigating: Dealing with vast amounts of information daily, you can quickly pull out what’s important and relevant.

Curiosity and imagination: You come up with multiple ideas and novel solutions.

Commercial awareness: You understand your industry and display in-depth knowledge of the business you’re in.

New industries



While automation threatens many low- and medium-skilled jobs, new industries are emerging.

With the growing scarcity of natural resources, there is a much bigger focus on alternative and renewable energy, environmental protection and green building. The workplace of the future will no longer be made up of just white and blue-collar jobs – we’re in the midst of a green collar revolution.

Other industries that are set for growth in the coming years are genetics, bio-genetics, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence and robotics.

Shrinking occupations


According to Nesta, the occupations most likely to shrink are sales, customer service and administration. The main reason is fast-moving technological advances, like automated personal assistants.

With the development of self-driving vehicles, many drivers or other workers in routine-intensive occupations are also at risk. Bookkeepers and clerks may soon find that most of their tasks can be automated too.

Other automation-vulnerable occupations include postal workers; mail sorters; couriers; sales and retail assistants; call centre executives; construction and building professionals; food, drink and tobacco press operators; and shelf fillers.

Growing occupations


Nesta’s data shows that many medium-skilled blue and white-collar jobs are expected to grow – especially in hospitality and leisure. That’s because their products can be continually re-designed, supporting employment. Recent examples are gourmet pubs, healthy fast-food chains and vegan cafés.

Other occupations that are most likely to grow are artists; sports coaches; mechanical and telecommunication engineers; nursery, primary and secondary school teachers; biological chemists and scientists; photographers; audio-visual operators; vocational trainers; and veterinarians.

Top jobs for 2018


With the New Year now in full swing, here are ten jobs that are hot listed for the not-so-distant future.

Skincare specialist: Increasingly people are turning to spa and beauty treatments to take care of skin issues or fight ageing

Environmental engineer or technician: If you’re interested in both science and the environment, you may enjoy analysing ecological samples or work with anti-pollution equipment.

Market research analyst: Data drives everything we do, so the ability to analyse statistics to understand customers and predict trends is highly sought after.

Biomedical engineer: Combining healthcare and STEM, these engineers design equipment, devices, software and computer systems for medical facilities.

Pharmacy technician: Working in pharmacies within a healthcare setting, these professionals dispense prescription medicine to customers.

Registered nurse: In a healthcare field that continues to grow, this could be a good career opportunity if you’re interested in patient care.

Computer software engineer: These engineers develop apps, task-specific programmes and work on the systems that run devices and networks.

Personal financial advisor: Many clients need financial advisors to help them manage their money and give advice on insurance and investments.

Occupational therapist assistant: Working with a licensed therapist, you’ll help implement patient therapy plans and strengthen their daily living skills.

Fitness trainer: Health and wellness topics are hot across all age groups, so the fitness trend is here to stay.

By arming yourself with knowledge and the necessary skills, you’ll keep ahead of the changing world of work. Whether you’re thinking of changing careers or planning a sideways move 2018 could be your year for a positive shake-up.


Source: CV LIbrary, Nesta