John Akerson's Thoughts

Business, technology and life

7 Skills to Unemployment-Proof

I read an interesting article at Computerworld this morning: “Ready for 2020? Advice for every career stage.” 

It discussed the differences between different ages of technology worker, and the different interests and abilities. I thought the article had an interesting conclusion: that different workers had different challenges to face. It went on and on about how recent graduates don’t have experience and certifications, and how cell phones are more important, etc. That is obvious. Another article I read recently in Think Big Be Big showed that mobile DATA traffic exceeded cell phone PHONE/VOICE transmission traffic every month in 2009.
Data and Voice

It is a wired world and  I recognize the differences in the newest texting generation, but I completely disagree with the conclusion of the article.

Since I started working with technology around 1982, there has been a constant drumbeat of change. Every piece of technology impacts business. Someone needs to communicate it. It changes constantly. The points where technology creates advantages moves instantly and frequently. Those change elements are constant.

The offshoot is that technology professionals have to keep a relevant skillset, develop skills for whatever is coming next, understand when, where, why and how “their” technology provides value, and understand how to communicate all of that.  That means that with a common set of skills, technology professionals can be unemployment proof. These skills are the ones that provide value no matter what the flavor of the month is.

Here are 7 skills that will help unemployment-proof a technology professional:
1) A love of learning and willingness to learn.
2) An understanding of the impact that technology and business have on each other.
3) A willing acceptance of change in all its forms.
4) An ability to communicate and translate business and technology.
5) A professional willingness to do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done.
6) An ability to demonstrate and showcase your skills.
7) An ability to learn from mistakes and use that learning to prevent new ones.

If you have these, your personal professional competitive advantage will ensure you are constantly employable and constantly employed.  I’m not saying that a short sighted company won’t downsize you. I’m just making the point that with this skillset, you will have other companies ready and eager to onboard you if that happens. You will provide value across the technology and business spectrum. That’s a formula for unemployment proofing.

Can you think of other things? Do you disagree?  Let me know

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August 23, 2010 - Posted by | Business, Competitive Advantage, People, Technology

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