The Employee’s Survival Guide to Change in the Digital Age

In this employee’s survival guide to change, you’ll learn the skills you need to survive – and thrive – in today’s fast-paced digital workplace.

Change can be hard, but it also presents opportunities – opportunities for learning, more income, and advancement, for example.

In this employee’s survival guide to change, we’ll explore:

  • How to survive and thrive in today’s fast-paced, technology-driven work world
  • What skills and traits you need to succeed 
  • What to look for when job hunting
  • Why change is a good thing

Among other things.

Let’s get started with the first point:

Skill up.

Today, we are in the middle of a skills crisis.

According to a PwC survey, many CEOs report that the skills gap hurts innovation and increases people costs.

Others have covered the skills crisis and its impact on jobs, organizations, and employees.

If you are willing to skill up, this can be a good thing:

  • There is an increasing demand for high-skilled jobs
  • Employers are more willing to offer in-house training, education, and upskilling programs
  • More skills means more pay and better job opportunities

Today, with the exploding online education industry, finding skills training is easier and cheaper than ever.

Below, we’ll discuss other things you can do to augment your skills training plan.

Be innovative and open to opportunity.

Today’s work world is changing rapidly…

Companies adopt new technology, change business models, and restructure to meet marketplace demand.

This means that “lying low” and just doing your job isn’t a good plan.

Sooner or later, certain job tasks may give way to automation tools. 

That, too, can be a good thing. It means that your time is freed up to do more interesting work.

However, in order to move forward, you need to be creative, innovative, and open.

This means:

  • Thinking creatively about your career and your job duties
  • Taking advantage of opportunities that arise
  • Taking on new work that can help you move your career forward

Being innovative can help you get noticed by your bosses, your companies, and potential employers.

Create and follow a career strategy.

A career plan – or strategy – gives you something to aim for.

Without it, you don’t really have any prospects when it comes to:

  • Long-term career goals
  • Income goals or retirement prospects
  • Potential employers, job roles, or skills development

Depending on where you’re at in your career, you may not have a specific career goal.

That’s okay.

It can take time to develop one.

However, it’s important to set a goal and follow one, even in the short-term.

Otherwise, you’re liable to stay in the same place, while your more ambitious fellow coworkers make forward progress.

Work at supportive companies.

Not all employers offer employee training programs, in-house education, or career development opportunities.

The more supportive your employer, the better your career prospects.

When job hunting, look for companies that:

  • Offer in-house training, education, and skills development
  • Have additional career development programs, such as coaching or mentoring
  • Are innovative, growing, and expanding

Innovative companies are more likely to support innovative, growing employees. 

This, for example, is why many employees want to work with startups – they offer more opportunities for career growth.

Don’t resist change, take advantage of it.

Change can be scary, but it can also be good.

When your organization undergoes transformation, embrace it:

  • As mentioned above, take on new work, new duties, and new roles
  • Offer to become part of any change projects
  • Seek out opportunities for advancement and progress
  • Play the politics game 

The better you can adapt to changing circumstances, the better your chances of survival in the coming years.

After all, with ongoing technological development, workplace change will only accelerate.

Become digitally savvy.

Digital skills are critical in today’s workplace.

This doesn’t mean you need to become a programmer, though…

Instead, focus on digital skills that can help you succeed in your career path.

Every job role today requires more software than ever before.

Even non-technical roles use a suite of tools to get their jobs done. 

For instance, even salespeople use complex software workflows during their day-to-day operations.

Increasing productivity, job prospects, and marketability, therefore, means:

  • Learning to use modern-day digital tools
  • Understanding how digital technology fits into the modern, digital workplace
  • Becoming digitally fluent
  • Obtaining the right digital knowledge that will help you achieve your specific career goals

In some cases, this may mean learning data and analytics.

In others, it may mean learning a specific set of software, such as sales or design software.

Regardless, success in today’s work world requires a certain level of digital fluency.

Find out what that is for your job, then achieve it.

Learn constantly.

Finally, adopt the principle of continual improvement.

Benefits to continual learning include:

  • Better marketability, even as the demand for skills keeps evolving
  • Better income and long-term career prospects
  • Increased choice of jobs, companies, and career tracks

In this employee’s survival guide to change, we have seen many ways to keep learning…

In-house employee training, online education, and mentoring programs, to name a few.

Take advantage of any – or all – of such opportunities.

Make learning a lifelong commitment and you’ll stand a much better chance of surviving in the digital age.

Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.