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Staying relevant

The job scene today calls for frequent re-skilling and up-skilling to stay relevant and keep abreast with changes
By Narayan Krishnamurthy | March 03, 2017

These days all kinds of jobs are stressful. The performance stress levels are across levels. There is enough data and studies about the health risk that young working Indians are facing. High blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and pain and other stress-related scares are common occurrences. There are several others who are obsessed with fitness, diets and health, which have caused them damage in some cases and have been good for their health in some other cases. The truth remains – job-related stress is on the rise.

I meet up with friends who pose their troubles frequently. To those who complain about health issues because of job stress, I suggest a health insurance plan. I am serious making this suggestion because healthcare costs are on the rise and having a policy is a good thing to have. Coming back to challenges are work places; most people in the workforce are hard working and dedicated. But the nature of work and change in technology is driving everyone to constantly re-skill to stay abreast of latest developments, even within their chosen field of expertise.

Short span

Most skills these days have a very short shelf life. This is the primary reason why one should be in tune with rapid changes taking place in the space where one operates. Yes, there are some skills that have completely become redundant, which depends on the industry or sector that you work in. For instance, in the IT sector – changing software has meant you either upgrade or you are no more relevant. For doctors, if they are not in tune with the latest in medical field, they may not be able to treat patients properly. If you are an auditor and not aware of changes in the tax laws, you would be a disaster for your client. The list goes on...

At a broad level, changing technology, artificial intelligence and virtual reality will render many of our current skills obsolete before we even realise it. The need for re-skilling becomes very important and a frequent update is important to acquire new skills to remain competitive at the job. When it comes to actual learning – you could learn on the job or make a conscious decision to take enrol into a programme to upgrade your skills. Today, the window to take up skill development while being employed makes immense sense.

The executive development programmes at the IIMs and other leading management schools are a good option, but these are not for all. Depending on your age and level in the organisation, you could opt for them. But, remember that these are best if your organisation encourages you to attend and there is a clear career development visible within your place of work. If you are going to attend such a programme on your own, do so knowing very well that it may not result in a job, if that is what you think enrolling into one will do; at least not immediately.  

Today, your best and constant companion could be online learning, a concept that has rapidly gained prominence and importance. Most premier institutes in India and abroad conduct executive development courses using webinars and in some instances a fast-track classroom session towards the end for a short time. Do explore some of these before you take the plunge to up-skill yourself and be relevant with changing times. 




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