Hello SOTGC community,
“Lifelong employability” is a term I encountered in 2014 when I was writing WIFL – Work In Fake Life – your guide to the digital working life, when interviewing a headhunter. The term has stuck in the back of my head since then and has popped up now and then. The other day I was talking to the founder of Skeeled, a new platform for recruiters, and “lifelong learning” surfaced again. I realized that in the emerging digitized era, with its new conditions and opportunities, lifelong employment has to be part of the new mindset in the new world of work.
No more lifelong educational skills from a college or university education and employment in companies. Skills developments are required in a pace never experienced before, and you need to constantly expand your field of knowledge, moving into areas never explored before. Nine years ago the iPhone entered our life, and before that we had never heard of apps. App development is now an ordinary job skill on the job market and the app business is gigantic. And who knew about the enormous influence of social media that was around the corner, and that the media landscape was to be turned upside down? This all happened within the past ten years, so what’s ahead of us in the next ten years? Well, no one knows, and the only way to stay ahead is to watch trends and keep updated on new skills that most often appear as wished for to keep your lifelong employability.
On top of my mind I would suggest you to:
- Get some know-how in basic coding like for html and CSS. There are several great online-courses for that such as at Udemy, Codecademy and
- Create a professional online presence and reputation in the online working life. For example, participate in communities and networks.
- Network, both online and off-line.
- Select a couple of social media networks that you feel comfortable with and use them as part of your business life (such as LinkedIn, Medium and Twitter.)
- Hang around younger people and people with kids and observe and learn from them to keep you updated on what’s coming on. We can learn plenty from them and see how the new mindset of the digitized era is evolving.
As mentioned above, for the past several years the media landscape has changed tremendously. A good example of adapting and lifelong learning is Sweden’s biggest evening paper Expressen, which was selected as paper of the year this year. I had the privilege of making a guided tour of their premises The publishing industry has been lagging and old fashioned, but Expressen has in an impressive way changed their business by the way the work is organized, leadership is coached, and diversity is increased and consciously focused on, including recruiting women for leadership positions. And they even register the gender balance in written articles on a daily basis and are proud to say that it’s always about a fifty-fifty ratio. They have a big social media department and big data is visualized live on big screens that are continuously used for daily improvements and listening and learning from their readers. A 24/7 live TV-studio is rapidly expanding and has caught the attention of CNN, whom they are now working with. I must say I was very impressed by their business after the tour. They are a good example of lifelong learning and adaption for employees and business, and have an—to me—open mindset for lifelong employability for their employees.
I like the idea of Generation C(onnected), which can be said to be a mindset of adapting to the new conditions and opportunities in the new society and working life and becoming a digitized citizen. And it is not age related. In my way of thinking this idea applies to businesses as well, and is needed for survival and success in the new world of work.
A while back I heard about LedbyHer, an organization in Paris, France, that had big success in mobilizing communities to empower vulnerable women through entrepreneurship. I recently had a chat with Chiara Condi, the American-Italian founder, and she mentioned that she’s about to launch a platform for women networks, so watch out for that! Meanwhile you may check out the LedByHer Website, and don’t hesitate to get in contact with them if you’re interested in taking it on to empower women in your city.
Women entrepreneurship is increasing and I’ll write more on that in my blog post next month.
Best as always,