How to Stay Relevant
I know that some of you will find that offensive, especially if you have stayed employed for a couple of years. Even if you have, you need to be concerned if your skills are still relevant.
I have been blogging and podcasting about the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic for the last couple of years. You can find all of these articles in the Career and Industry Disruption portal.
This disruption will continue to happen in the coming year. Your skillset may well have been disrupted and you will need to stay relevant.
Let’s talk about how to do that!
Identify the Disruption
Just about every company and industry has been disrupted by the pandemic. I like to think they fall into 5 broad categories:
- Workplace disruption including the need to go remote with the workforce
- HR disruption including the need to change procedures in hiring
- Customer buying habits changing during and more importantly our own behaviors are changing
- Regulatory changes with the most glaring example of this being the HIPAA changes and their effect on healthcare delivery
- Supply chain disruptionthe
- You will need to research how each company and industry is being disrupted. The world is so interconnected that you will need to follow the dots to find the choke points.
Research the Disruption
A good example of this is the US automotive industry cutting production in the winter of 2021 due to a limited supply of semiconductor microcontrollers. In the spring of 2020, the US auto manufacturers predicted that the demand for new automobiles would not recover until 2021 or later. They drastically reduced their orders for microcontrollers from semiconductor companies like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company or TMSC. TMSC is a contract manufacturing company that produces semiconductor devices for many industries. They just switched their production to other companies products.
Demand for automobiles picked up much more rapidly than expected. At the same time demand for home, high-technology devices exploded. When the automotive industry ordered new devices they were now at the back of the line for getting their orders fulfilled.
Now the automotive industry is rethinking its just-in-time inventory model and now is thinking about the just-in-case model.
My wife and I recently purchased a brand new 2023 Subaru Forester with the older model of the in-dash infotainment system. We were told that this will be recalled when the correct version of the system is available.
How to stay relevant? Design ways to solve this problem or at least be able to discuss alternatives.
Reskill for the Disruption
Many of these disruptions will be solved by new technology like blockchain.
There is an amazing number of innovations in artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, and blockchain. Many logistical disruptions will be solved using the Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, and drones.
Your mission if you choose to accept it (Mission Impossible metaphor) will be to get skilled in one of these technologies as it applies to the disruption that your target company or industry is experiencing.
It has never been easier to acquire high-quality training at little or no cost. It just requires you to make the effort.
I want you to check out edX.org which is a giant website of online courses offered by IBM, MIT, Harvard, Berkley, and many more.
Check out courses and programs in the following areas:
You can also check out edX’s sister website MOOC.org or Massive Open Online Courses. Most of these courses are free and you will only be charged if you decide to receive a certificate for completing the course or program.
I would also recommend you check out Coursera. The Coursera about page states:
Coursera is the global online learning platform that offers anyone, anywhere access to online courses and degrees from world-class universities and companies.
How to become relevant again? Learn the technologies that will solve tomorrow’s problems.
Demonstrate Your Knowledge
This is the section that will be scary for many of you. You will have to have conversations and demonstrate your knowledge before you are ready.
I had a great conversation with Diann Wingert about this exact topic in the podcast episode, The Entrepreneurial Mindset for an Accidental Entrepreneur with Diann Wingert. One of our biggest roadblocks is to start new things before we are ready.
You have to take action before you are fully prepared to take it. There are a lot of others on this same path but those who take action will move ahead of you.
This will mean getting on various social media platforms and start having conversations with people who are working either in the industry or target company that you want to be relevant in.
How to stay relevant? Demonstrate your newly acquired knowledge.
How to Stay Relevant? Identify, Learn and Demonstrate!
This will not be easy. If you are not already, you need to become a lifelong learner.
COVID-19 has disrupted and exposed so many vulnerabilities in how business, industry, government, and educational institutions function. You can and will be relevant again if you put in the hard work required.
I hope this scares you a bit. You need to start things before you are ready. You will probably have to give up some old behaviors and possibly skill sets that have become obsolete or irrelevant overnight.
What is your first step to staying relevant?Marc Miller