The Age: Audit and develop your personal skills to help prepare for career change

To stay ahead you need to learn with purpose by looking forward and determining what skills you need in the future. The best starting point is to conduct a personal skills audit.  On Saturday, the Age shared my article. You can read it by clicking here.

It is a cliché to say the world is changing. It has and also will. What is indisputable is that the pace of change is unprecedented. Digitisation is changing how we work. Job tenure has disappeared and the rate of casual and contract work is increasing. Career change is inevitable.

A 2016 report by the CSIRO and Australian Computer Society, Tomorrow’s Digitally Enabled workforce, predicts that nearly half of the jobs in Australia are at risk of computerisation and automation. So, are you ready for what the World Economic Forum is calling the fourth industrial revolution?

To stay ahead you need to learn with purpose by looking forward and determining what skills you need in the future. The best starting point is to conduct a personal skills audit.

Step 1 – Examine the present: Identify all the current skills and knowledge you have, covering the spectrum of technical, functional and behavioural.

Step 2 – Imagine your dream job: Think about what you really want to do and where your industry or profession is heading. What does it look like and what would it take for you to get there? Do not limit your thoughts or ideas. Research and discover what new skills or knowledge (technical, functional and behavioural) you would need to land such a position.

Step 3 – Know the gap: Look at the gap between your current skill set and the desired future. For each element rate yourself on a scale of 1-4:

  1. No current skill or knowledge
  2. Some skill or knowledge, but not proficient
  3. Competent at this skill and have knowledge
  4. Expert with a high degree of skill and knowledge

Step 4 – Get creative: Craft a list of activities you can undertake to close the gap and identify the priorities to be addressed. This may include: books to read, courses to enrol in, journals to subscribe to, new people to meet and new practices to perfect.Make sure you stretch yourself and have a balance of activities that will be challenging and fun. Consider having a mixture of activities that are cerebral, physical and spiritual – i.e. good for the mind, body and soul.

Step 5 – Build your plan: Create a personal development plan that maps out your learning goals, and what you will do and by when. Having completion dates and success measures is critical so you can hold yourself to account and monitor progress.And then, the only thing left to do is to put your plan into action and check progress. Also, do not forget to reward yourself. Celebrate your learning and achievements.

Learning to love learning is a life skill and it is even better when you are learning with purpose. To thrive in the face of this constant stream of change, be ready to step outside your comfort zone, adapt your operating style and update your knowledge bank.