I had written a post earlier about how we need to look at our lives and take stock of it in the post Covid world. Since then a lot of people have asked me as to how this will apply to career planning. The purpose of this post is to outline my thoughts as to how career planning will have to change in the new times.
What are the changes we are facing today in the business environment with specific focus on jobs and careers? Well, there are many but I can think of the following significant trends :-
- The physical office will become less relevant with time and several companies and job roles will get remote in nature.
- Geography was already history a few years back but the pace will quicken a lot and many more jobs will move across geographies than ever before.
- Technology awareness will become the key component of most job roles and this will put the older workforce at a disadvantage.
- Jobs will increasingly seek younger people to perform them, so what roles used to be performed by people in the 40’s may now well be performed by people in their 30’s now.
- Traditional job contractts will diminish in nature and freelancing for specific assignments can well become the norm in many industries.
- Companies will no longer take people for a long term career and the idea of retirement will take a complete shift.
In the context of the above, what should be the career mantras be for people in the different stages of their careers. Again, there will be many different angles but I will only deal with the purpose of advising people who are from their 20’s to 50’s in different decades of their professional life.
- If you are in your 20’s and are just entering your professional life, or have been there for a few years, focus on building up your skills and aptitude that are valued in your insdustry and outside it too. You cannot depend on your company or industry for long term employment , so it is important that you have career portability within your industry and, ideally, even outside it.
- For those in their 30’s with about a decade of experience, the learning curve needs to be a steeper one. If you do need to change your career direction by going into a new industry then the time is really now. You will not be able to do it after a few years any more. So, if you are stagnating in your current company or even industry, make it a point to actively reinvent yourself and look at things that you can possibly do.
- For those in their 40’s a career switch to a different industry may not be practical any more but you can use your experience to get associated with new age companies starting up in your industry or even connected industries. Your experience will be valued immensely by many startups, especially if you are able to gel well with younger people.
- If you are in your 50’s you are really fortunate as you can look to wind down gracefully without having to think of a new rat race starting with different rules of the game.
How does this change your situation in terms of financial planning? Quite a lot really as you can no longer depend on a 3 decade long time span to build a retirement corpus, that can take care of you for the next 30 years of your life. Financial independence, is now not going to be a buzzword only, it is going to be critical to achieve as early in life as you can.
In my next post I will write about the changes in financial independence imperatives in the present times.