The BIG SHIFT – Who will invest in your skill development?

 In Miscellaneous

In one of my previous blogs, I had talked about certain indicators that one should look for when choosing a prospective employer. There were a couple of points about the prospective employer’s Learning & Development infrastructure as well as its Leadership Program. These are investments that companies make in their employees to help them grow.

In this blog, I am trying to gaze through a crystal ball to see how the scenario on this front could be in a few years from now. In my view, the following will change:-

  • Skill development will become a lot more critical than it ever was in the past. Individuals at every level will need to pay inordinate attention to their skill development
  • Certain traditional roles in the industry especially at middle levels and junior levels will vanish. For example, if we look at the IT industry, many jobs will vanish because of automation. Organizations will become a lot more leaner which will mean that the traditional middle management layer will face huge cuts.
  • New skills will come in to play (one of my previous blogs touches upon an example of this) and people with these skills will play a much more critical role in their organizations. My view is that the right brain skills will start becoming more valued than the left brain skills in certain traditional “left brain driven” industries.
  • Here is the BIG SHIFT – Companies will start putting the onus of skill development on the individual. By this I mean that companies will expect current or prospective employees to make their OWN investments in to their skill development. Take this analogy – When we need someone to fix the plumbing at our homes, we call a plumber who is expected to have the necessary skills to fix the problem. We don’t call someone who has no skills in this area or has partial skills, pay him to develop those skills and then pay him to fix the plumbing!!!!
  • Hence the other BIG SHIFT – Individuals will need to fund their own skill development. They will need to make it a part of their necessary spending. It’s like paying your utility bills, you have to pay them, nobody else will.

In my view, this shift has already started to happen. Companies have been experimenting with different “in-between” models like “You pass we pay” to shift the onus on skill development to the employees. It’s a matter of time before the shift is complete. Here are some things that an individual can do to handle this shift:-

  • Recognize that this shift is happening
  • Make your own “SKILLS SWOT” analysis. This will need a person to be very self-aware (It is recommended that you do a program that will help you get started on your self-awareness journey).
  • Keep a close watch on market trends on the skills front, figure out where the supply demand gap exists
  • Have a timeline based plan for your skill development. It should be holistic and include development of your mind and body as well as the technical skills required to command a premium in the market
  • Figure out the different avenues (training institutes, coaches, facilitators) who can help you develop the required skills and guide you along the way
  • Set aside an annual budget for your self-development
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