This is a summary of key themes of the keynote presentation I delivered at the 2018 Administrative Professionals Conference at University of Wollongong. The overall theme of the conference was ‘Be Future Ready.’ This summary will be used in an internal publication reporting on the conference.
Ongoing change is normal in today’s workplace, with much of it being driven by advances in technology. We have entered the 4th Industrial Revolution where computers and robotics are replacing or supplementing work done by human brains. Digital technology has already changed the way many products and services are purchased and delivered, and has radically altered industries including banking, travel, music and movies.
All occupations will be impacted by automation and people will increasingly interact with digital assistants and other forms of Artificial Intelligence to get their work done. Besides being able to work effectively with technology, social skills which are difficult for computers and robots to replicate are becoming increasingly important – such as empathy, compassion, listening, influencing and leading people.
The employment relationship is also changing with more people being engaged on temporary contracts and short-term projects or tasks rather than being permanently employed. Many of the conference participants indicated that they have already worked in this way as part of the ‘gig economy.’
To keep our skills relevant and be future ready in an environment of ongoing change and increasing competition for work roles it is imperative that we take charge of our own learning. This requires us to shift our mindset to learning continuously as we work rather than expecting training courses to be adequate to maintain our skills. Michelle explored ways of doing this by learning from yourself, from resources and others.
Michelle invited participants to recap key content from her session and access further information on learning strategies, resources and tools in the ‘Michelle Works Out Loud’ page on her website. Everyone is welcome to follow these posts and join the conversation using #futurereadylearning on LinkedIn or Twitter.