It should come as no surprise to anyone that the face of business as we know it is undergoing significant change. In the past year alone, we’ve seen automation, AI, and even cloud-based tech coming to the fore. These are changes that only look set to increase into 2020, but studies suggest that these might not be the most substantial shifts modern workers need to get their heads around.
Evidence is also fast emerging that the workforce itself looks set to undergo changes. Namely, 2020 is the year when 36% of employees look set to become gen zers. That’s right; the next generation is upon us and, perhaps worryingly, they bring with them a tech knowledge that even millennials will struggle to match.
This, paired with the rapid tech growth we’re already seeing, is enough to make many workers a little hot under the collar. After all, automation is already replacing jobs, and a new, tech-based workforce looks set to replace even more.
With this in mind, you wouldn’t be alone in asking yourself how you can protect your position in the coming year and beyond. The good news is that job security hasn’t gone out of the window just because generation z have started to rear their heads. Still, you might want to consider doing the following to make sure that your value in the workplace remains relevant moving forward.
Update your tech knowledge
This may seem like an obvious point, but it’s a crucial step that no employee can afford to skip in 2020. The simple fact is that generation z have grown up using tech of all kinds, including cutting edge phones, communication, social media, and more. These all form crucial elements of modern business efforts, and they’re fundamentals that you can’t let fall by the wayside. If you don’t understand even the basics, then don’t be surprised if generation z starts to look more tempting for your employer.
Luckily, all you need to do to keep your head above the water here is update your tech knowledge now before it’s too late. Ultimately, how you go about this is up to you. It could be that you simply sign up for evening courses around social media marketing. Or, perhaps you want to go all out and return to part-time education with a cybersecurity course like those offered by Norwich University. Remember that this isn’t a competition. Even if you don’t have an extensive degree in computer sciences, an ability to show your understanding of new business tech should be enough to keep you on top. At least for now!
Make yourself adaptable
As well as an almost ingrained understanding of technology in its many forms, generation z have the incredibly tempting benefit of being an adaptable bunch. In many ways, you could argue this point about almost any upcoming generation. After all, who wouldn’t be adaptable on their first forays into the working world? Still, the point stands to an extra degree with generation z, who are paving the way for flexible working above all. This generation also looks set to significantly change the standard 9-5 template by offering both late and early hours that can help managers keep on top with consumers demands at all times.
If you make the mistake of remaining too set in your working ways, then there’s little chance that you’ll be able to retain your position. Employers now value the flexibility that generation z stand to open for them. It can, after all, save them downtime and, more importantly, money.
What’s more, this level of adaptability also stands to benefit you. By making yourself more available for home working and changing hours, you may find that you’re able to achieve the work-life balance you’ve always struggled with until now. It really is a winning situation for everyone.
Keep loyalty on your side
Perhaps the leading fear employers have when approaching gen z is that of loyalty. After all, 83% of today’s students believe you shouldn’t stay in a first job longer than three years. 27% even believe that a year is adequate! For employers, these are incredibly concerning stats. So, using them to your benefit seems like an obvious next step.
If you’ve already been in a job for longer than that three-year standard, then you’re in a good position from the off. It seems unlikely that employers will discard employees who have already proven their loyalty, even with the arising temptation of gen z.
Take this even further by doing what you can to increasingly emphasise your loyalty now. Take on that overtime, or let your boss know that you’re looking to further your career within their enterprise. This way, you may find that your name automatically stays safe, even in the face of changes elsewhere.
Aim for management
Along the same lines, you may find this a good time to aim for management positions at last. It may be that you’ve always toyed with this idea, but now is most definitely the time to stop putting it off! That’s because, as with any new and upcoming workforce, generation z candidates are unlikely to walk straight into management roles. They don’t have experience at this stage, remember, even if their tech know-how is next to none!
By improving your knowledge as mentioned and applying it within a management position, you therefore set yourself above even the best gen z applicants coming forward. In fact, you’ll be in charge of everything from their training to general management and more. Just like that, this new age of employees could become your project, rather than your nemesis.
A final word
Facing off against a new generation is never easy in the working world, especially with things now changing at such a rapid pace. Still, being aware of the potential risks puts you in the best position to overcome them with pointers like these. And, that could see you securely weathering this new workplace wave, and whatever happens to come after it, too.