2015 is now a distant memory of successes and failures.
Did you accomplish everything you wanted to? How much room is there still to grow both personally and professionally?
Whatever your answer may be, 2016 is sure to bring a whole new set of career challenges/opportunities and so it’s time to focus on the future.
Here are the 3 biggest career challenges you will face in 2016 and how they are actually opportunities in disguise.
1. The New “Out of the Office” Workplace is a Reality
Today, the idea of “work” is quite different than even just a few years ago. More and more projects are getting done out of the office and people are creating their own work schedules.
In 2015, a staggering 34 million Americans worked from home – this number is expected to increase to 63 million by the end of 2016.
Remote working opens up a treasure trove of talented candidates from around the world. Some companies like Buffer even insist that their employees “work in the place that makes them happy.”
What this means for you: Time to adapt.
The ability to effectively work from anywhere is a great skill to have as venture through 2016. Companies are willing to pay qualified candidates for both full and part-time work for all sorts of projects.
With the job market trending this way indefinitely, you should have some “out of the office” expertise. Take on side projects. Work on a portfolio. Blog. Take online classes. Get certified.
Each of these will bolster your experience and show that you know no boundaries when it comes to working.
2. The Millennial Workforce Continues to Grow
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that by 2016 Millennials will overtake the majority representation of the workforce. And by 2030, this hyper-connected generation will make up more than 75% of the workforce.
Millennials have grown up with technology. Life without it is unknown. This means that they are super tech savvy and are willing to challenge the status quo when it comes to processes at work.
What this means if you’re a business: Take a look at your technology.
As the Millennial workforce grows, technology is going to become more and more important. Millennials will question why old systems are still in place. They’ll look for new and faster ways to get work done.
Scrutinize the current technology processes in place at your company. Are they current? Do they allow the new work force to use technology to their advantage?
And while you shouldn’t get rid of your current technical processes overnight, it certainly doesn’t hurt to consider new solutions.
What this means if you’re a Millennial: Realize that change is slow.
Many Millennials entering a new position want to “disrupt” the status quo. They want the technology in the company to match the technology they use on a daily basis.
This won’t happen right away and so you’ll have to work within the current systems.
However, you can be the champion for change.
Propose new, profitable ideas. Don’t point out a problem, rather, offer a solution. What systems can the company implement today and in the future that will help make work easier for everyone.
3. New Jobs are Being Created that You Haven’t Heard of Yet
Technology isn’t just changing the way we work – it’s changing the job landscape completely. Many of the jobs that we will see in 2020 and beyond haven’t even been invented yet.
And that means that the skills for these yet-to-be-invented jobs still have to be learned by professionals.
What this means for you: Always be learning.
We live in a world where knowledge is extremely valuable and so ongoing professional education is the key to staying relevant in the current and future economy.
Don’t become too complacent in your current position because I guarantee you that it will change in the next 10 years.
Study trends and dedicate yourself to a career of continual learning and you will be well-positioned to go wherever the market takes you.
Final Thoughts on Career Challenges
They say that in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. Well, they’re wrong. Change is certain and career challenges are certain.
This New Year’s Day, challenge yourself to seriously consider where you see your career taking you in 5, 10, and 20 years down the road.
Be ready for change and you’ll be ready to take on 2016.