Updating your skills for relevance in our new world


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Pharm. Sesan Kareem

It is a truism that our world has witnessed a tremendous change in the way we work in the last two decades, with the advances through internet and artificial intelligence. However, the level of transformation we have experienced in how work gets done since the COVID-19 ravaged our world in first quarter of 2020 has been unprecedented in the last 200 years. While some job opportunities are expanding, others are shrinking. Most importantly, the skills required to do most jobs in our world nowadays have changed tremendously.

The World Economic Forum’s 2018 Future of Jobs Report predicted that, by 2022, 75 million jobs across major economies will be displaced by emerging technologies. The same report also predicts that 133 million new roles are expected to be created by these technological advances. However, the new job opportunities will require new and higher skills. In this light, what got you here won’t get you there. You need to up your game, raise your productivity and enhance your capability to solve problems through reskilling and upskilling.

What is skill? Skill is the expertise or talent needed to do a job or task. Skill is what makes you confident and independent at what you do, and are essential for success. While it takes determination and practice to improve current skills and learn new ones, the good news is that any skill can be learned or improved. Upskilling is the process of acquiring new skills to do your job better and advance your career. Reskilling is the process of acquiring new skills to do a different job. Reskilling and upskilling for the future is the process of learning new skills to position yourself for better opportunities in your career or a different career.

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According to World Economy Forum Report 2020, 50 per cent of all employees will need reskilling by 2025; 40 per cent of workers will require reskilling of six months or less and the new emerging skills in 2020 are skills in self-management, such as active learning, analytical thinking and resilience. The top ten highly needed skills in this decade across the world are analytical thinking and innovation; active learning and learning strategies; complex problem-solving; critical thinking and analysis; creativity, originality, and initiative; leadership and social influence; technology design and programming; resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility; as well as reasoning, problem-solving and ideation.

Based on the truths elucidated above, it is very clear that you need to advance your skills. The knowledge you possess today to create solutions for your customers, employers or investors does not guarantee your success tomorrow; you must keep learning, unlearning and relearning if you want to remain relevant in your field of endeavour. Besides, you also need to keep re-engineering your mindset for success. The mind is a muscle, and the more you develop it, the better it will serve you in your career. You must strive to always be in a perpetual state of clarity, confidence and calmness. Then, you will be in the right state of mind to keep evolving and re-inventing yourself.

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It is also necessary for you to do the hard work of upskilling and reskilling because we are in a vulnerable, unpredictable, chaotic and ambiguous (VUCA) world right now. In other words, we are in an ever-changing world where things change rapidly and what works yesterday might not work today or tomorrow.

Moreover, we are in a global world filled with global opportunities. The advancements in technology has made our world a global community, creating global opportunities for those who keep evolving themselves. Opportunities are available for highly skilled people, regardless of their locations, background, and country of birth. Furthermore, there is also intense global competition across various walks of life.

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However, while technological advancement has created global opportunities, it has also resulted in global competition. Therefore, those who will participate in global opportunities must not just be good at what they do; they must be exceptional, dynamic and flexible.

In conclusion, our world has seen and is witnessing tremendous changes on how work gets done, what work is to be done and the skills needed to do the work effectively. With the new normal we face in our world due to COVID-19, it is now an open secret that the future of jobs will be quite different from what used to be. Therefore, any success-oriented person must upskill and reskill, if he or she desires to move ahead in their career.

ACTION PLAN: How can you upskill your current skills to become valuable to the market place in our new world? How can you reskill to evolve and position yourself for new opportunities post covid-19?

AFFIRMATION: I have what it takes to reskill and upskill for new possibilities. I am blessed and highly favoured.

Sesan Kareem is the founder of HubPharm Africa, a digital pharmacy that provides medicine delivery and extraordinary care, www.hubpharmafrica.com, and the principal consultant of SK Institute, www.sesankareem.com.ng.


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