In an era of economic uncertainty, it’s challenging for youth to navigate the professional landscape.
The IMF highlights a grim scenario in the Middle East, where global pressures and internal complexities shadow economic progress, fostering considerable uncertainty.
This pervasive atmosphere trickles down, amplifying the apprehensions among the youth regarding their careers. Layoffs surge, and the younger demographic grapples with a daunting job hunt. This, intertwined with the perpetual evolution of requisite skills and job demands, compounds the challenge.
Amid this turbulence, here’s a guide for the young workforce to mitigate career risks and fortify their professional futures.
According to PwC’s Middle East Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey 2023, 52% of individuals in the Middle East, compared to the global 36%, believe their jobs will change significantly in the next five years, requiring them to acquire new skills and capabilities.
Around 62%, nearly double the global percentage indicated a strong belief in the pivotal role of green skills in shaping their careers.
Meanwhile, over 40% held a similar belief regarding artificial intelligence.
Mohammed AlQunini, Recruitment Consultant Founder of CVKSA & LRKSA, says embarking on a successful career path is more than possessing the right skills and experience.
“In today’s dynamic job market, understanding and adapting to the needs of your field, organization, and the market are crucial.”
He highlights the importance of aligning your skills with market demands and your desired organization’s vision: “In the ever-evolving professional sphere, ignorance of market needs can be detrimental to your career. The key is to balance your abilities and the market’s requirements, effectively positioning yourself for success.”
“One critical aspect often overlooked is self-branding. Companies seek employees who possess exceptional skills and can articulate and showcase their value.”
JOB-HOPPING IS A GOOD THING
PWC’s survey shines a spotlight on a notable trend: the art of job-hopping, a phenomenon gaining momentum in recent years. The survey reveals a striking shift, with 39% of respondents in the Middle East expressing a heightened inclination toward switching employers in 2023, a notable leap from the 30% reported in the preceding year.
The younger workforce segment is the driving force behind this trend, with 37% of Gen Z and 40% of millennials at the forefront of this movement.
While the stigma around job-hopping remains prevalent, many think employers might perceive it as a lack of commitment and loyalty; Al Qunini highlights the potential danger of remaining static within a single role. “Clinging to such notions can lead employees to overlook promising job prospects. Meanwhile, employers may harbor concerns about your suitability for higher roles, question your adaptability for a career shift, and associate you with past interview shortcomings.”
THE ART OF SELF-BRANDING
Self-branding stands as a linchpin in fortifying career prospects. Crafting a distinct personal brand isn’t merely about creating a polished image; it’s about strategically showcasing one’s unique skills, values, and expertise.
“Brand yourself as a valuable contributor to your organization. Showcase your skills, market your experience, and share professional insights. Expand and nurture your network by engaging with industry peers, managers, and leaders,” Al Qunini says.
“In the ever-evolving landscape of professional development, those who strategically navigate the waters of change and self-promotion are poised to create a resilient and thriving career path.”
RISK-PROOF YOUR CAREER
AlQunini outlines the following key strategies for employees aiming to fortify their careers against risks:
Continuous learning and professional development: Stay updated on market shifts, emerging job prospects, and evolving skill requirements. Invest in continuous learning, professional certifications, and licenses to bolster your skill set.
Learn from the experts: Seek wisdom from industry frontrunners, public speakers, and influencers. Absorb their challenges, draw lessons from their experiences, and utilize this knowledge to propel your career trajectory.
Leverage social media: In today’s digital landscape, social media is a potent tool for career advancement. Engage actively with industry leaders, managers, and recruiters via platforms like LinkedIn. Showcase your expertise, share invaluable insights, and craft a robust online presence to amplify your professional profile.
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