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3 ways to future proof your career in an online world

Read the top 10 key findings from the survey here: MasterStart Workforce Barometer Report 2018.

The world is constantly changing, with new age technology engulfing the planet. It seems like everyone is glued to some sort of screen these days. It can be daunting to keep up with the times, and the new gadgets that help make life easier.

Have you noticed the impact of artificial intelligence or robotic automation in your industry? You are not alone! Our study has shown that a majority of employees are wary of artificial intelligence and the process of automation.

Fewer than 20% felt comfortable sharing their workloads with robots or having processes automated by AI. Yes, there is a real possibility that automation will take over human tasks, as organisations look to keep abreast with the ever-changing technological environment. However, we do have access to tools to “future-proof” ourselves against this.

Future-proofing

In order to future-proof your life and your job, you need to remain current in your industry.

Our recent MasterStart South African Workforce Barometer revealed that just 23.8% of our workforce felt completely confident their current skills will guarantee them employment in 10 years’ time. This suggests that people have a high awareness of the unprecedented pace of change and need for nimbleness and adaptability.

The constant learning of new hard and soft skills will entrench the flexibility necessary to manage the breakneck pace of the workplace and ensure sustained relevancy. Given the competitiveness of the market – which will only increase with the rise of automation – having a sought-after skillset is the best way to guarantee ongoing job retention.

Anyone, Anywhere and Anytime

The beauty of online learning is that it is on your own terms. Our study has shown that almost everyone (95%) believed that lifelong learning would help them remain relevant in their careers.

Of those surveyed, who have studied online, listed the following as the “big gains”:

1. Tangible results:

A salary increase, promotion, skills (to be more marketable), more experience and more opportunities.

2. Higher performance:

Better knowledge, keeping up-to-date, a better understanding of the way the workplace works, faster completion of tasks, and having to employ fewer people as they had the skills themselves.

3. Better motivation and soft skills:

Being better at dealing with people, the ability to explain concepts to clients, and overall improved communication skills.

The team here at MasterStart is dedicated and invested into a life of learning. We believe that the secret to current success and future wealth, lies not in the piece of metal in between your fingertips, but in the knowledge and experience, you gain from your life.

Professional facilitators make learning a breeze and continue to support you throughout your journey with us. Stamped with an honourable seal from the University of Stellenbosch Business School.

Read the top 10 key findings from the survey here: MasterStart Workforce Barometer Report 2018.

South Africans are concerned about their working futures

south africans are concerned about job security and employability

The economic and political situation in South Africa has all of her citizens concerned about their job security, especially in the years to come. A research report conducted by MasterStart reveals that a mere 23.8% of working South Africans believe that their current skills will keep them employed in ten years time. One undeniable fact about all South Africans is that we are resourceful, intuitive and most of all survivors. It’s exciting to see that our people are taking initiative, and finding new ways for staying relevant in a world where change occurs almost daily.

Adapt with technology

Technological advancements including artificial intelligence and robotic process automation have the majority of South Africans looking for a way to future-proof their careers. In a survey of over one-thousand people, the MasterStart workforce barometer uncovered a very real statistic. That was 95% of people agreed lifelong learning is the key to retaining relevancy in their chosen field.

A word from the CEO

Andrew Johnston, Former CEO of MasterStart says, “Our workforce is clearly concerned, but positively, our research revealed that people are aware that frequent upskilling and reskilling will aid them in remaining relevant and employable. Especially in a country where unemployment is an ongoing issue, it’s imperative that we empower people to future-proof their careers by making lifelong learning opportunities continuously accessible.”

The Raw Reality

Did you know that it is estimated that artificial intelligence could boost global Gross Domestic Profit by as much as $15-trillion by the year 2030? That’s a whopping injection into the world economy. Aim to be a part of this dynamic movement, with technology that helps make our lives and jobs easier, it is still imperative that we keep ahead of the curve, in order to stay relevant.

Today is the biggest challenge

It’s really tough out there; 80% of people surveyed believe that it is far more difficult to find employment, as opposed to ten years ago.

Factors to consider today

In today’s day and age, there are numerous aspects to consider in the South African workforce. If we zoom into it; macro and micro factors seem to be at the core of the current employment situation in South Africa.

The most talked about and obvious being the political and economic climate of the country. Increased competition, where even online businesses are starting to become over saturated making it difficult to stand out. Fewer employment opportunities and rapid change have also been noted as a hindrance to growth and development within the job market.

IT and technology jobs are seen as the most secure

It’s actually quite ironic that IT and technology-related jobs are viewed as the most secure amongst South Africans since these very industries are responsible for decreasing the demand for human engagement in the workplace. Our survey noted that 30% of IT and tech employees felt supremely confident in their skills and relevance moving forward into the future, or at the very least for the next ten years.

Don’t let age hinder your career prospects

Many of the survey participants claimed that their age and lack of skills were their biggest barriers to gaining meaningful employment, especially for people over the age of fifty. It is interesting to note that people from twenty-four up to the age of thirty-four listed a lack of skills as the most prohibiting factor in securing employment.

Recognise, Retain and Nurture Talent

Large companies need to take the lead. Corporations can help by becoming apart of the solution. By investing in their staffs’ education, they are able to upskill their employees to help them stay relevant in a world that is constantly changing and adapting to technological needs. The reality is not all managers are equipped to deal with people on a human level.

If you recognise this, it could be beneficial for your business to upskill managers on people skills. A short course in human resource management from MasterStart may just be the answer you have been looking for. Likewise, there are various courses on offer for any employee wishing to stay relevant in the modern age. The key to staying relevant and a cut above the rest is lifelong learning. This short-course will help you stay at the top of your chosen field, now, and far into the future.

 

It’s Not All Doom and Gloom

Even with the glum statistics and the current recession South Africa has slipped into, rest assured there is still hope on the horizon. Its uplifting to see that 80% of survey respondents were planning to study further in the future. Studying further allows you to not only enrich yourself but enrich your company. The majority of companies love employees who take the initiative to study further and enhance their skill set.

Look to study online

Studying online courses can help you receive that promotion that you have been yearning for, followed by a hefty salary increase. You owe it to yourself to stay relevant, which will ultimately result in a more diverse set of skills making you less irreplaceable, higher motivation levels and improved communication skills, which allow you to form long and lasting relationships with your company.

Johnston concludes, “Given the competitiveness of the market – which will only increase with the rise of automation – having a sought-after skillset is the best way to guarantee ongoing job retention.  This means using online learning tools to get to grips with AI and RPA in order to build on efficiency and one’s overall value-add in a business.”

Read the top 10 key findings from the survey here: MasterStart Workforce Barometer Report 2018.

 

MasterStart South African workforce barometer

How are South Africans feeling about the work environment

How are South Africans feeling about the work environment?

What is the mood among South Africa’s workforce? How do we feel about the longevity of our careers? Do we feel equipped to evolve our skills and stay relevant? Is political and economic uncertainty taking its toll? Are we concerned that artificial intelligence may replace us? Follow us as we decode these interesting south African workforce statistics.

We commissioned research house imagineNATION Alliance to survey a diverse sample of over 1000 people to find out how South Africans are feeling about their employment prospectives.

The survey found that the overriding sentiment amongst our workforce is one of worry. Most respondents believed the job environment was tougher now (July 2018) than 10 years ago. The pace of change has changed. And our workforce is worried it won’t keep up. The findings reveal a workforce that’s looking for ways to future-proof itself. With Industry 4.0 a global hot topic, South Africa’s workforce is highly aware of artificial intelligence but doesn’t currently count it as the biggest threat to job retention.

Read the top 10 key findings from the survey here: MasterStart Workforce Barometer Report 2018.

The common reasons why most startup businesses fail to grow

why start ups fail

You probably don’t want to be reminded – especially at this stage of your entrepreneurial endeavour, about the possibility of failure or early stagnation. As grim as the subject is; hearing the reasons why most small/startup businesses fail to grow, gives you, the aspiration for the best head start.

According to statistics published in 2017, the Small Business Administration (SBA), discovered that around one-fifth of startups fail within the first year. Interestingly enough, after investigating further, they found that there were a few common denominators/areas within the business’s which were being managed poorly, or neglected by the new business owners. These were likely the cause of the business’ deterioration.

Here are just some of the common ‘mistakes’ they uncovered which are the possible reason why so many startups fail to grow and in some cases, collapse.

1. Building a strong team is not prioritised

Many new business owners and amateur entrepreneurs fail to see the importance of building a strong team, especially during the start-up phase. They often think they can do it all on their own – and perhaps are incentivised by the cost-effectiveness.
Building a strong, competent team is crucial to the success of a business and, in fact, is most important during a business’s infancy years. This is because new ventures face many challenges; for example, limited capital and resources, as well as the challenge of breaking into the market. Without a strong team who have the skills and experience in building businesses from the ground up, the venture may be at risk of early stagnation.

2. Poor management and leadership

Poor management and leadership are one of the main reasons why startup businesses fail to grow. Most new business owners take on the role of a manager as they perform the management function in the beginning, however, they often struggle with the leadership aspect. With that being said, it is possible to get by on a good management approach even if the leadership aspect is not refined; however, if both areas are weak it is a major cause for concern. Some entrepreneurs are great visionaries and have exceptional business smarts, but are not strong managers or leaders. For the sake of the business, it’s important that they refine their skills in these areas. Luckily one can be taught how to be a great manager and an inspirational leader!

3. Budget allocations are managed insensibly

Startups often have limited capital and monetary resources which is why it’s imperative that money is handled sensibly. Certain important functions which will propel the business forward should be prioritised in the budget. These include areas such as marketing and staff for example – but this depends on the nature of the business. Many unsuccessful startups have allocated capital to the wrong areas and spent money on less important business functions. It’s critical that you identify your businesses fundamental needs and allocate money to these first.

4. Lack of business knowledge

This is an all too common ‘mistake’ in the startup sphere. While anyone can be an entrepreneur – it takes some business smarts to be a successful one. It’s, of course, impossible to know everything well – but that’s why hiring people who have strengths in certain areas where you may have weaknesses is incredibly important. However, if this is not possible, it’s imperative that you learn fundamental business skills so that you are able to carry the business forward. For example; marketing is one of the most important functions, but if you’re not aware of this, and are unable to execute successful marketing techniques due to your limited marketing knowledge, the business will surely suffer. Invest in yourself – in your skills and your business knowledge, so that you are able to give your business the best shot at success.

5. Poor customer relations

Your customer is your bread and butter. If you or your team fail to identify the importance of treating your customer well; communicating with them effectively, and listening to their needs and wants, you will have a hard time building customer loyalty and your sales will likely decline drastically. As a startup breaking into the market, you need to find ways to get the customer on your side. You need to give them a reason to leave what they know, and instead use your services or buy your product. Too many startups are caught up in the operations and keeping the business afloat, that they often forget the reason for what they are doing. The reason is: solving a problem – for who? The customer.