This week's blog explores the topic of future-proofing, the art of keeping your skills relevant in an ever-changing job market. Read on to find out how to stay employable throughout your career.
The world is changing fast and that means that new jobs are being created all the time, while some jobs that have existed for hundreds of years will soon disappear.
You need to make sure that you will still be employable. So how can you future-proof yourself?
1. Basic skills
Different jobs need different specific skills, otherwise known as "technical skills". However, almost every job will need you to have a good level of English and maths.
That means being able to read and write emails with good spelling and grammar and being able to make simple calculations (like the amount of equipment you need to order, or whether you can afford to buy it with the money you have available).
So step one is to make sure you do everything you can to get good grades in English and maths.
2. Employability skills
There is also a wider set of "soft" skills that most employers will look for regardless of the job you are applying for.
Whether you want to be a software developer, a health and social care worker or a social media manager, you will need to be able to do things like communicating clearly and working in a team.
The stronger your soft skills, the easier you will find it to get and keep a job, so log in to your skills passport and start planning how you can build them up. Make sure you keep your CV updated as you go along.
3. Get on the ladder
Another thing that employers really want is work experience. You are much more likely to get a job if you have already had one. That does make it harder when you’re starting out, but that’s why you should do everything you can to get a foot on the career ladder.
So go and look for a Saturday job or a summer job. It might not be something glamorous but that doesn’t matter. Just having a job for more than a few weeks shows that you can turn up on time, work with other people, complete the tasks you have been set and act professionally.
All of those things mean a lot to employers and will make you more likely to get a full time job when you start looking.
4. Do some labour market research
You don’t need to know exactly which job you want when you’re still at school, but you do need to know that the careers you’re thinking about will still exist by the time you’re 25.
That’s where labour market information comes in. It tells you which jobs there are in your area and which ones are likely to come up in the future.
We’ve put together a list of useful websites that give you this information. Some of them are made for careers advisers rather than school pupils, so it could be worth asking a teacher, parent or adviser to look at them with you.
5. Keep learning
Jobs are changing so quickly that it’s impossible to learn everything you need to know for them while you’re at school.
Instead, you will need to keep learning your whole life. Unlike school, you won’t have teachers telling you what to do or when to do it, so you need to start building up your own strategies for independent study and self-directed learning. Fortunately, we’ve put together some hints and tips on how to motivate yourself to get you started.
We hope this blog article has given you some ideas about how to future-proof yourself! If you're ready to get started, why not find out more about key skills and how you can get them.