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How to ensure your professional relevance for the next decade
Lipi Agrawal | HRKatha | New Delhi | Thursday, 04 May 2017

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It is not just their existing skills and capabilities that will help professionals stay afloat but a lot more.

In this fast-changing and rapidly evolving world, where technology in AI and automation is replacing jobs and most professionals fear machines will outdo them, it is extremely important for everyone to reflect on their capabilities and analyse whether they will be able to survive the test of time. However, it is not just one’s existing skills and capabilities that will help one stay afloat. A lot more is required to ensure that professionals stay relevant in their jobs for years to come. Here’s what industry experts believe will help strengthen professional existence, ensuring relevance in whatever professionals do.

Be Adaptable
Adaptability has been the key to survival since ages unknown. Dinosaurs are extinct because they could not adapt to the changing environment. Darwin’s theory of ‘survival of the fittest’ has proved to be true time and again. If humans have to stay relevant in their jobs alongside machines, which are taking up a number of tasks, they will have to learn to adapt to the new environment.

“In the next five years, most of the jobs will cease to exist or their design and configuration will change completely. Hence, every professional needs to think about the time their job will cease to exist.”

Prasanth Nair

In a world where machines and humans will work together, people will have to learn to be more imaginative, intuitive and innovative, playing on the subjective human virtues that machines cannot do without.

Prasanth Nair, managing partner and country head, InHelm Leadership Solutions, says, “In the next five years, most of the jobs will cease to exist or their design and configuration will change completely. Hence, every professional needs to think about the time their job will cease to exist. So, to be prepared, one will need to be adaptable and learn and unlearn to stay on course.”

Awareness is important

Being aware of one’s surroundings at all times is crucial now more than ever. In a boundary-less, socially-virtually connected world, the definition of awareness is even more complicated. One needs to now master the art of filtering from heaps of available information and gaining knowledge of things that matter and can help one professionally.

Nair says, “It’s not about staying aware of one’s close surroundings but being aware of the developments globally, as everything has an impact in an interconnected world.”

Prasanth Nair & Emmanuel David



Re-invent and take risks
There are numerous instances of people or organisations, that had to diminish and die simply because they failed to re-invent themselves; and at the same time, there are numerous examples of those who stepped out of their comfort zones, thought beyond the usual and re-invented themselves to survive the changing times. Consider the Hindustan Motors’ Ambassador and Titan. While the former had to stop production, the latter continued to re-invent and win.

Emmanuel David, director, Tata Management Training Centre (TMTC), Tata Group HR, shares an example of an acquaintance, who was a stenographer and was under huge debts for years, suffering both professionally and financially. However, he did not give up and learnt acupuncture instead, and is now a well-known doctor and therapist helping people with various issues and disorders.

Having shared his story, David says, “It is all about looking within and not outside for the best possible solution to a challenge. Introspect, analyse your potential, and take a leap. Staying in the same position will never help.” Sometimes, a little step in a new direction and a leap of faith is all it takes to help you survive a situation.

“An acquaintance of mine, who was a stenographer and was under huge debts for years, suffering both professionally and financially. However, he did not give up and learnt acupuncture instead, and is now a well-known doctor and therapist helping people with various issues and disorders.”

Emmanuel David



Believe in your capabilities
Most people subconsciously cage themselves in the belief that they are only good at the things that they have been doing perfectly so far. However, the truth is that each individual has hidden talents that need to be garnered. “With a strong belief in oneself, one can do things beyond his/her perceived capability. It just requires sincerity of purpose to be able to achieve the unimaginable,” David explains.

Last but not the least, to catch up with the changing jobs as technology disrupts the way most businesses function, professionals will not just need to learn new skills but also be confident of the fact that they can outperform themselves in the tasks that they have been accomplishing or try doing new things to stay professionally active. Continuous learning, an ability to adapt, perseverant attitude and the zeal to innovate is the key to survival in the coming times.

© 2016 HR Katha
Last modified on Thursday, 04 May 2017

1 comment

  • Comment Link PH Singh Monday, 08 May 2017 posted by PH Singh

    and keep practising your skill of planning & execution. Resources are always available to get any thing done. Most of the time we lack in meticulous planning and flawless execution to cause failures. This must be practised by habit.

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