The aftermath of the pandemic taught the world to restructure, adapt and realign. This has not only resulted in new ways of working, but organisations developed a more aggressive approach to consumer behaviour and analysis. In fact, it has been more strategic than ever before with a focus on data-driven results than experimental trends.
In terms of talent acquisition and professional development; the standardised career route has lost its value in the process and welcomed a new approach to surviving in an unstable economy which has outlived just academic excellence. Acquiring a 1st class and a Masters’ degree is not a guaranteed ticket to employment. Your competency and survival in the market is judged on your adaptation to technology, the entrepreneurial mindset and diverse skill acquisition which are the most sought-after additions to professional development after technical competency.
The workforce is a marketplace that operates purely on supply and demand; to build a recession-proof profile, you need to determine your value by understanding how to capitalise on the skills that you have, incorporate those that are sought-after, and leverage on your ability to integrate them into your core expertise. This formula will always show an employer why they need you as a valuable and profitable asset to their team.
As a professional, the ultimate goal is to find an organisation that supplies career growth opportunities, promotes collaborative and innovative work culture, whilst offering a healthy compensation and benefits package. On the flipside, an organisation wants to remain an employer brand of choice and dominate their market share, so they are in need of professionals with the expertise to drive their business forward. This is the corporate synergy; you have skills they can leverage on to achieve their objective and they provide the environment where you can thrive for career growth.
With unconventional work practices being welcomed as the new norm, the most desirable attribute that every employer looks for is a candidate/employee’s ability to adapt to change. They want employees who are multi-faceted, but most importantly can multi-function because there is a definitive difference between the two. You may be skilled in multiple areas of competence but lack the ability to use those skillsets concurrently. So being multi-functional is key; should an organisation decide to take a new direction, they are confident that you have the diverse skill set to withstand any change management initiatives under a lean management structure.
To strategically plan and leverage on your career progression, you need to map out where you are now, where you’re going and what you need to do in order to achieve your objective.
Your key objective as a professional is to remain relevant in a market where talented professionals are many and opportunities are few. Now more than ever, is a time to design and implement a career strategy map to guide your career decisions. Even though we are trying to get back to business-as-usual under the uncertainty, organisations are being more stringent and strategic than ever, which means they are not running large recruitment drives and hiring six people at once.
If there is a way to merge roles, responsibilities with a sprinkle of automation, they will do so. For business continuity and sustainability, it makes more sense to cut back on unnecessary spending without compromising the quality of the organisation’s output.
So, what is their strategy? Their strategy is to attract and retain professionals who they can pay slightly above the market rate to work in a multidisciplinary role that allows room to adapt to anything the economy throws at them.
Career Leveraging is a strategic process! In fact, it is an actual skill that constantly needs fine-tuning. It’s difficult to differentiate yourself in a market where talented professionals are many and opportunities are few, and it’s even harder to carve a distinctive niche within a specialised skill set; but it is not impossible. So, the question is, what strategy can I implement to leverage on my expertise and remain relevant?
Diversifying your skill set by Hoisting
“Hoisting is the present tense of the word hoist which means to lift something heavy or to elevate.”
In career development terms, for you to elevate your career and remain relevant in a disruptive yet evolving environment you have to acquire a H.O.I.S.T skill to compliment your core expertise. H.O.I.S.T. stands for Human Resources, Operations, Information (Data or Management Information Systems), Sales Strategy & Marketing, and Technology (Development and Support). All of these are cross-functional skill sets that are found in every organisation regardless of the sector. Aside from Finance/Accounting, H.O.I.S.T’s are the only cross-functional sectors that are applicable regardless of the sector or industry; be it FMCG, Healthcare, Agriculture, or Manufacturing. As long as there is an economy, there will always be People to drive an organisation’s productivity (Human Resources), Operational structure for its’ management and accountability (Operations), Data to make informed decisions (Information – Data), Consumers who buy into your brand i.e., generate revenue (Sales, Strategy/Marketing), Technology to advance and transform businesses and People and Systems to manage your Finance and Accounting principles.