Going Beyond The Conventional Career Options


By Hemant Gaule, Co-Founder, School of Communications & Reputation


The pace at which the world is changing is so rapid that today’s trend will seem very passé tomorrow. AI and robots are making some jobs obsolete, while giving rise to new opportunities, paving the way for unconventional careers in the near future. With this soon-to-be reality, isn’t it about time we prepare for it? Careers like UI/UX experts, light engineering, content censoring, storytelling and image styling, are some of the untraditional professions that are picking up momentum amongst Millennials and Gen Z. Such professions are radically changing the dynamics of the world, and simultaneously changing people’s perspective of what one can do to earn a living. Here are three factors we have identified that are driving career opportunities to go beyond the conventional.






Millennials Bring Variety To The Table

In the last decade we have seen the rise of new professions that are expanding and creating a niche in the market. This expansion is leading to more job opportunities, giving Millennials and Gen Z the option of going beyond conventional careers. A 2018 report by Retailers Association of India states that India has the world’s largest Millennial population in absolute terms, constituting nearly half of India’s workforce. Given that their formative years took place during the boom of technology, information and social consciousness, Millennials and Gen Z pursue a career that aligns with their skills, interests and habits. Additionally, because of their unique choices and varied ambitions, they even get the opportunity to hop between careers during their prime.Often, they opt for vocational and off-beat careers when they feel the strong need to create an impact in the work they do.


An important lesson the industry is learning from the younger generations is that passion is the driving force in pursuing a career. They tend to gravitate towards companies and organisations that have a high and evident sense of purpose like them. By choosing unconventional career paths, they bring a wide range of skills and abilities to the table. They leverage this flexibility of talent and ability to adapt and acquire skills, leaving the onus of hiring them on the recruiter.


Relearning and continuous learning

It is increasingly evident how professional skills are becoming obsolete faster than ever. Studies have shown that to stay relevant in the industry, the average Indian employee needs to be upskilled and re-skilled every 18 months. According to a 2017 Economic Timessurvey, nearly 91%of the respondents felt that their professional skills are soon becoming outdated because of the influx of millennials at the workspace and the rapid changes in the industry.


To tackle this problem, companies are setting up special departments that overlook learning, development and training of existing employees. The main aim of this practice is to maintain a continuous learning cycle that polishes the skills and knowledge of employees, enhancing their competency. Understanding that mere adaption of technical skills isn’t enough anymore, practical knowledge and experiential learnings are becoming crucial. Learning programmes that focus on all three factors, help employees keep up with the standards expected from them.


Building cross-functional teams

By collaborating with different teams, knowledge flows between several departments and many companies realize the need for getting multiple expertise to work together. Last year, WPP brought all of its multidisciplinary agencies in Mumbai under one roof to leverage cross-functional expertise. This move also breaks down any existing siloed environments, creating opportunities to employees to learn from peers.


From a professional point of view, this serves as an added stimulator to diversify their skillset, making them to be Jack of many trades.


The implication of these driving factors is that the workforce of the future will not be compartmentalised into dedicated areas of expertise, and talent will be more fluid. Career decisions will be governed as much by our needs as by what we’re passionate about.

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