How to successfully prepare for the future of work
Entering the workforce can be a nerve-wracking journey. However, as a recent graduate in the digital age, equipping yourself with a unique set of skills can help you to find success in your future career.
Preparing for the future of work is particularly important if you want to work remotely. Working from home is a great way to save money and skip stressful commutes, but requires tech-savvy skills to advance your career.
Preparing for Hybrid Work
Data collected by the Australian Institute of Family Studies suggests that 67% of Australians have worked remotely “sometimes or always” in the past few years. The trend toward hybrid work was spurred on during the pandemic, but the ability to work from home is one that many employees continue to cherish.
Successfully joining a hybrid workforce is about more than buying a new set of slippers and loungewear. You need to be aware of trends in hybrid workplaces as you transition into remote work. Be prepared to use office spaces for collaborative tasks rather than day-to-day responsibilities and familiarise yourself with the Internet of Things (IoT).
As a recent graduate, you’re probably familiar with virtual conferencing software. You can make the onboarding process that much easier by taking courses on instant messaging programs and workflow systems like Slack and Microsoft Teams. Slack Certified offers courses to help you “build the future of work”, while Teams Online Training walks you through the basics of the program.
You should also assess your approach to internet access. If you will be working remotely, it’s important to have access to fast, secure, reliable internet. Secure a private 5G network at home, or work in a coworking area that provides a 5G hotspot in addition to regular Wi-Fi. This reduces your chance of drop-outs when working remotely.
Communication is an important transferrable skill for employees and employers alike. However, as you enter the workforce in the digital age, you need to know how to communicate using multiple platforms and should work to sharpen your internal communication skills.
Internal communication has a significant impact on employee productivity and engagement. Knowing how to connect with your peers to dissolve information silos and create cohesion between management and staff can help you to build your career and showcase your skills.
Embracing better video-conferencing etiquette is one way to improve your internal communication skills. You’ll likely spend many hours on video calls and in virtual meetings when working remotely. If you’re leading a remote call, embrace best practices like:
- Setting a clear agenda at the start of the meeting;
- Giving everyone a chance to share their insights and calling on folks who may have a harder time self-advocating;
- Sticking to a schedule and not allowing the meeting to be derailed.
Follow up on video conferences by giving folks a chance to raise related and unrelated issues using forms and questionnaires. This will keep your team focused during meetings and will ensure that everyone feels valued and heard.
Technical Skills for the Future of Work
Every generation has a different set of technical skills that help them find success. As a graduate in the digital age, you can set yourself up for success by developing some of the most in-demand skills today.
If software development isn’t your thing, and you plan to work in business, you may want to look into data analysis and customer relationship management (CRM) skills. Businesses around the globe utilise big data to inform their decisions and adapt to market trends. As a recent graduate, you could help companies adapt their product or service by utilising the skills you’ve picked up in optional elective courses like statistics or data analytics.
Millions of graduates around the world have embraced freelance work and are successfully running their own businesses. As a recent graduate, you’re in a fantastic position to start up a side hustle and build your own company using the skills you’ve learned at university.
If freelance work sounds like an attractive proposition, get started with your side hustle before you graduate. You can open an Etsy store or start a content writing blog while working on your coursework and should aim to build a portfolio of work without overwhelming yourself. Limit the number of orders you take on and focus on refining your product or approach while you’re still in college or applying for jobs.
It’s impossible to predict what the future of work will look like. However, you can set yourself up for success by learning foundational skills for the digital age. Gather a few hard skills in fields like coding and CRM software or focus on transferrable skills like communication and collaboration.
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash
Charlie Fletcher is a freelance writer from the lovely “city of trees”- Boise, Idaho. Her love of writing pairs with her passion for social activism and search for the truth. You can follow her work at charliefletcher.contently.com