Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Sunday, February 25, 2018 07:20:24 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Keep learning new skills, it's the best career boost

photo by

By
10th-Sep-2017       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Gita Bajaj :
Never has continual learning been more important than today. In words of the writer and futurist, Alvin Tofler, "The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn". Employees today are not only stormed with new technologies but are also expected to anticipate what is coming, and champion these in no time. Those who slack a bit find themselves either on the bench or laid-off. Over the last two years, Microsoft, Ericson in Sweden, Japan Display, banks in the UAE and IT giants in India have laid off thousands of employees citing reasons ranging from cost-cutting to non-performance, new strategy.
The truth is that companies are reconsidering their strategy in the wake of technological innovations, visa restrictions, changed political philosophies, or trends wherein sectors such as oil & gas are losing their advantage. This implies that companies are ideating to find new ways of value creation for clients, explore new markets or introduce new products. No wonder, simultaneous lay-offs and recruitments are being noticed.
It is important to note the changes in skills and competencies demanded, making upskilling and thereby executive education no longer a matter of choice; in fact, it is the only survival tool.
What course to pursue is usually defined by the industry and the level of the employee. But in general, today every employee must take care of his or her psychological, relational and technological health. With high levels of stress, the need to ensure self-efficacy, self-motivation, role-clarity and self-direction are paramount. Professionals must recognise their challenge, and seek help to identify or face it upfront. Professional counsellors, and well-established profiling tools help get better understanding of self while training programmes help get insights, and executive coaches and counsellors bring a more personalised guidance to ensure a fresh outlook and rejuvenated spirits.
Times of change especially those that entail lay-offs, restructuring, mergers or acquisitions are times of great upheaval; and employees must understand political and relational games that play-out at such times.
The need to garner and make sense of information and negotiate one's way through the maze is a soft-skill needed to guard one's backs in the least and play-out full to influence and get things done on the other end. Chances are that employees who overlook this competency and focus only on domain expertise struggle for recognition or get weaned out first.
Training programmes on soft skills such as leadership, negotiations, cultural appreciations, conflict management, emotional intelligence etc., come in handy here.
However, the most immediate need today is to be skilled in emerging domains of job market. Companies are adopting AI, robotic process automation (RPA), cognitive tools and machine learning to speed up and replace decisions for human interaction. With availability of in-house data on employee and customer interactions, data analytics is poised to become the backbone of business decisions, causing a surge in demand for business analysts, market researchers, HR analysts and financial analysts and in turn for executive courses for these roles.
Another area of growth is entrepreneurship. Never has the ecosystem been so enabling; regulations are becoming friendlier and options to begin small or to fetch big money are aplenty. While many may believe that entrepreneurs are born, there is enough evidence to prove that there is much for them to learn, to be able to leverage some of the essential entrepreneurial traits that they may have. This is where courses on Entrepreneurship development, Social entrepreneurship, Venture Funding or Strategy help develop essential capabilities.
However, most technical trainings are longer duration courses that delve deeper. Counselling and coaching also demand high commitment. In fact, organisations with well-developed learning and development (L&D) divisions take trainings too with a long-term perspective though a larger number continues to consider L&D an expense.
Some companies even prefer to lay-off older employees to recruit and train younger graduates for lower costs. Obviously, these companies do not appreciate the edge that organisational culture, employee engagement, job satisfaction, happiness, work-life balance or citizenship behaviour bring to the organisation.
In any case, employees cannot wait for HR departments to wake up. Instead personal investment for upgrading skills is a wise choice. Professionals can take up free online courses on Coursera or EdX, can pay up small amounts to get certifications from prestigious universities like MIT, Harvard, University of Amsterdam and the likes.
They can join part time executive education courses or even full-time courses. The barriers to switching fields and domains have never been lower, pre-requisite being a constant high on self-efficacy. Seeking professional help to enhance mental well-being should therefore be accepted as a professional approach.
Finally, if the internal well-being and competence to manage people is in place, then it is possible to upgrade skills in multiple or varied domains. So, amidst all the lay-offs and upheavals, employees can adorn the armour of professional success - choose to get any education, at any age and, at any cost and escape to emerging domains at any point in their professional life cycle.
(Gita Bajaj is Professor of HR and Communication at IMT, Dubai)

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

International »

New strikes hit Syria enclave after UN delays truce vote


AFP, Beirut  :Air strikes and rocket fire hit the Syrian rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta for a seventh straight day on Saturday after the United Nations again delayed a vote on a ceasefire.The Damascus government launched a devastating bombardment of the enclave just outside the capital last Sunday that has ...

Editorial »

More vigilance at Rohingya camps against human traffickers


Aid workers have identified 32 victims of human trafficking so far at Rohingya camps in Cox's Bazar and also reported lack of access to basic services and self-reliance opportunities - especially for women and girls increasing the risk of trafficking. If such risks were assessed from the very beginning when ...

Sports »

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes part in a hockey event with Hayley Wickenheiser (not pictured) and the Indian women's national ice hockey team at the Canadian High Commission of Canada in New Delhi, India on Saturday.


Sports »

Medalist in the men's parallel giant slalom (from right) South Korea's Lee Sangho (silver), Switzerland's Nevin Galmarini (gold) and Slovenia's Zan Kosir (bronze) pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea on Saturday.


Entertainment »

Sunny Leone on her Tamil film debut: I'm beyond excited to start shooting


Former adult film actress Sunny Leone made a swift move into the Hindi film industry in 2012. And now the Indo-Canadian actress is all set to make her debut in a Tamil film. She says south Indian films would help her grow as a person and an actress. Sunny, whose ...

City »

Poet Abdul Hai Shikder along with others holds the copies of a book titled 'Aroni' written by Latiful Khabira at its cover unwrapping ceremony in the city's Suhrawardy Udyan on Saturday.


Editorial »

Indian Army Chief`s allegation means complicity of government of Bangladesh


REMARKS by Indian Army Chief, Gen. Bipin Rawat on Thursday that a 'planned influx' of people from Bangladesh into India's north-east is underway as part of a proxy war by Pakistan with support from China, so to keep the area disturbed. Moreover, he also said migration from Bangladesh are happening ...

Sports »

Bronze medalist in the women`s Big Air snowboard Synnott Zoi Sadowski of New Zealand, poses during the medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea on Thursday.


.

Entertainment »

Priyanka Chopra terminates contract with Nirav Modi, not suing him yet


Priyanka Chopra has decided to cut ties with billionaire diamond trader Nirav Modi's brand following the news about the alleged banking fraud carried out by him. "In the light of recent allegations, Priyanka Chopra has chosen to terminate her contract with the Nirav Modi brand," a spokesperson of Priyanka, who ...

City »

BNP Standing Committee Member Barrister Moudud Ahmed speaking at a protest rally organised by Khaleda Zia Mukti Parishad at the Jatiya Press Club on Friday demanding release of BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia.


.

International »

Ex-Trump campaign associates face more charges


AP, Washington  :Dramatically escalating the pressure and stakes, special counsel Robert Mueller filed additional criminal charges Thursday against President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman and his business associate.The filing adds allegations of tax evasion and bank fraud and significantly increases the legal jeopardy facing Paul Manafort, who managed Trump's campaign ...

Front Page »

Amnesty accuses President Trump of HR violations


Human rights group Amnesty International has accused Donald Trump of "hateful" politics and of being a threat to human rights. "President Trump takes actions that violate human rights at home and abroad," the group said. Amnesty put Mr Trump in the same group as the leaders of Egypt, Russia, China, ...

Editorial »

Serving people not making money must be the motto


PHYSICIANS must provide treatment, President Abdul Hamid said to common people at affordable cost so that no one remained deprived of receiving treatment for lack of money. He made the call while addressing the third convocation of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University in the city on Monday. He has also ...

Sports »

Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic celebrates after she beats Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain during the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on Wednesday.


Entertainment »

Alicia Vikander loves `big adventure films`


Oscar-winning actress Alicia Vikander said she loves "independent and arthouse" cinema, but is also attracted towards the big adventure films.The actress, who will be soon seen as Lara Croft in the forthcoming film 'Tomb Raider', also shared that she found training and muscle-building exercise for the role, empowering. "My mother, ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news