It is inevitable, that regardless of your role, sector or job title, your world of work is going to face disruption now and in the future. Why is this? Technology will continue to evolve faster than ever before, newer, more innovative competitors will enter the market, customer expectations will change, along with their patterns of behaviour. Therefore, your employer’s ability to anticipate this disruption will determine whether they thrive they just about survive. When an employer is thriving, they can provide you with a supportive environment in which you are able to keep your skills and industry knowledge relevant. On the other hand, when an employer lags behind, they can hold even the most forward-thinking professionals back.
Currently, many organisations consider themselves innovative enough to mitigate unknown disruptors on the horizon. However, in reality, this isn’t always the case. Our CEO, Alistair Cox explained in a previous blog: “Sadly, my experience is that in many companies, innovation is still nothing but a buzzword…many of the corporate innovation initiatives I see today are either half-hearted or engineered for PR attention.”
It’s important for you to think about your career and your own long-term success, therefore, it is important that you scratch below the surface of your current employer, and carefully assess the below in order to gauge whether or not they truly are ready for the future. Below I ask three questions you should consider about your employer.
1. Is your employer proactive or reactive?
First and foremost, ask yourself, how has your employer developed over the last few years as a result of advances in technology? Have the new developments been pre-emptive and forward-thinking, or responsive and reactive? Is your employer really anticipant of industry disruption? Let us take a look at Blockbuster video as an example. Blockbuster were disintermediated by online streaming services in more recent years, but not many people know that they were actually offered the chance to be acquired by Netflix in 1997 and turned down the proposal. As a result, they buried their heads in the sand until it was too late, affecting the careers of everybody in the business. Of course, these employees will have found work again, but their skillset and the momentum of their career progression would have taken a temporary hit, one you can avoid.
2. Does your employer take calculated risks?
When your company spots a potential disruptor, are they willing to take risks? Are they investing time and money into more innovative solutions which involve a slight gamble, but ones which can pay off plenty fold? For instance, an organisation may decide to use chatbots to communicate with their customer base. This is a risk, as this change requires a fair chunk of the company budget and training resources, but customer satisfaction fuels the organisation and meeting their needs is essential for company growth.
If your employer doesn’t ever take a chance, they will never be able to truly innovate and neither will their employees. In reality, one of the biggest risks you could be taking right now is working for a completely risk-averse organisation.
3. Is your employer enabling you to upskill?
It’s one thing feeling that you are fully up to speed with your company’s future agenda. It’s entirely another to fully appreciate and understand what these changes mean for your role and indeed your purpose within the wider organisation, how you will need to adapt, and which tools you will be provided with to help you do so.
It could be a case of being trained on new technology, taught about a new product or service offering within the business, or being given a mentor to guide you through these changes and the implications for your career. More so, a learning culture should be pioneered by your employer on an ongoing basis, and not as and when new technologies are deployed.
In an age of unparalleled disruption, it is increasingly important that you work for an organisation who has their finger on the pulse, so that you, as a professional are also able to keep your finger on the pulse.
Now is the time to take a moment and consider whether or not your current company is communicative, adaptable and open to taking calculating risks, moreover, whether they support you as you look to grow as a professional. If the answer to all three questions is a resounding “no” then it may be time to jump ship to a more forward-thinking organisation, one which can help you keep your expertise relevant, not just for now, but for the years to come.
To find out more, or to discuss your recruitment needs, please contact your local consultant.
About this author
Maureen joined Hays in 2000 where she specialised in Senior Accounting and Finance recruitment. With over 17 years’ experience, Maureen is the Director for Cork, Limerick and Galway along with over overseeing the Banking and Construction & Property operations in Cork. She also provides training expertise in the area of candidate screening and interviewing.