Wouldn’t you say that it’s becoming increasingly challenging to keep up with the requirements of the modern working culture?
If you are working next to your studies and trying to find internship opportunities to gain more knowledge and experience, in order to try and secure yourself a starting position in a lucrative field once you finish University, you are not out of the ordinary. If you feel worried that your studies have not actually prepared you for the real world and the skills you need for your desired future job aren’t mentioned in your textbook, you are not the only one.
It’s safe to say that the job market is constantly evolving and putting more and more pressure on young people. Today, having graphic design skills, being skilled at photoshop, or even coding programs, being able to use social media for marketing, knowing marketing in general are some of the skills that just like the English language – no one asks if you know, it is simply expected you do.
This onset of digitalization has caught up to us in a short period of time. The covid-19 situation is making it even more intense, since our daily lives are being pushed into an unavoidable digitalization. But other than that, the halt in operations, financial slow-down and fear of the impending doom in case of no cure for the pandemic any time soon have created a lower supply on the job market and an ever rising demand.
How do you deal with all of this? How do you keep up?
The truth is, there have always been changes and innovative breakthroughs, that have resulted in history-worthy crises. The working sphere has gone from the industrial ‘assembly line’ to ‘user interface’ in a matter of decades. This is nothing out of the ordinary, since evolution seems to be a natural part of the human existence. You only have to be able to keep up with it, to evolve yourself. Believe it or not, it’s not as unattainable as it maybe seems.
No matter what the future brings, there are always skills you can cultivate, that will keep you active in the race and help you thrive, no matter what.
Communication – isn’t accidentally in the first place. Good communication is key to professional success. Being able to present yourself well, make connections with other professionals, communicate your goals and expectations, resolve conflict, sell and negotiate skillfully is something that will make a difference between just being present and being noticed. Being able to communicate with confidence will allow you to create opportunities for yourself and is something that will make or break your success.
(Self-)Awareness – to be self-aware means to know at all times what your goals are, how you come across to other people, which characteristics you should value and promote about yourself and which other ones you should work on. But you equally need to be aware of your environment and other people, in order to be able to manage working with others and to have the intel to make the decisions for your further professional development.
Character – being on time, being kind, being human, but not a fool. People take notice of what you are like, that’s the one thing they are always aware of. You can allow yourself to not know how to use Excel, for example, but you absolutely cannot allow yourself to be late or rude. Because then no one will care to show you how Excel works.
Constant learning – another stepping-stone for your success. To gain these other skills, you have to be ready to constantly learn new things. Don’t allow your mind to go stale, because surely enough at some point, the wheel will spin too far for you to catch up and new hungry learners will be there to take your place.
It may sound overwhelming to start thinking of these skills, when they would be something extra to add to your already full schedule, but investing in these skills will help you more than anything else. Allow yourself to learn from every experience you have and every person you come in contact with. Make friends often and nurture those friendships too, because friends will be the first to share information with you. Realize that working on yourself and evolving as a person is a mindset that will help you more than anything. All of these skills you can learn only by going through it, living it and learning from your mistakes. And living this experience is exactly what we as AIESEC offer. We have a whole website of opportunities for you to choose from and a contact person to call whenever you get stuck.
Sign up under our website for one of our internships and start investing in yourself now.