Future of Work

Thriving in the Age of Hybrid Work: Build career resilience with Skills

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The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the significance of data, AI, and digital technologies and accelerated the future of work to NOW! The world has gone from extremely tight labor markets, accelerated economic growth, and scarce talent toward high job instability, growing unemployment, and worrying recessions. Organizations and individuals which had embarked on the digital transformation path with an eye towards preparing for the future of work are emerging largely unscathed and somewhat stronger.

Rise of the Hybrid Work Culture

One key term at the heart of this accelerated pace of change is hybrid, both at the organizational and individual level.

Hybrid talent – Data from Burning Glass Technologies, highlights a growing demand for individuals with soft and hard skills. Hybrid talent is the future of the workforce. Beyond workers who have both STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills and empathetic creativity, hybrid talent will be a seamless mix of employees, machines and the gig economy, providing the scale and flexibility to meet workforce needs. Depending on the nature of the work and over time, the mix of hybrid talent — the ratio of employees, bots and gig workers — will evolve.

Hybrid workplaces. Gartner has found that businesses looking beyond the COVID-19 pandemic are going to be facing a new kind of challenge: Managing a new kind of highly complicated, hybrid workforce. The study found that 82% of business leaders say their organizations plan to let employees continue to work from home at least some of the time, while 47% plan to allow employees to do so permanently.

Hybrid careers. As work life morphs into an expanding series of limited engagements, education and training need to be retooled for the long haul. Workforce training expert Michelle Weise, author of the new book Long Life Learning: Preparing for Jobs That Don’t Even Exist Yet, says higher-education and organizations need to do a better job of accommodating the demands of the workplace and the realities of workers’ lives over a 100-year and multiple career span.

Career Resilience in the New Normal

Complexity is the natural currency for an uncertain future. In order to future-proof yourself, your team, and your organization, we have to consider skills, tools, and experiences you can add to your existing profile, and not transition to. What needs to be developed is career resilience. Career resilience is the ability to adjust to career change, whatever the circumstances may be, and to navigate all the ups and downs and twists and turns on your career path. In today’s world, career resilience is no longer just a “nice to have,” it’s a core professional competency. According to the Harvard Business Review the two steps to creating career resilience are:

  1. Assess and benchmark skills:  This helps individuals understand the environments that let them shine, the interests that ignite them, and the skills that help them excel
  2. Build competitive skills: Being aware of the emerging job trends and their corresponding skills requirements provides the insights required to keep one’s resume current

The switch from career dependence to career resilience is not only imperative but also inevitable. We have to think of our potential as a set of flexible muscles that have to be trained with a wide range of exercises and activities, rather than a single strength. The most in-demand skills of the future will include working with people, problem-solving and self-management skills such as resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility. This increase in required self-management skills is clear as workers face a range of pressures to adapt to new, more digital ways of working.

In an increasingly hybrid world, hybrid skills will be key, which can only be acquired through lifelong learning. In the words of  Heather McGowan, “Learning is the new pension, it’s how you create your future value every day.”


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