Future-Proofing Your Career Prospects in the 21st Century

Weekend Reflections

Future-Proofing Your Career Prospects in the 21st Century

The forward-ever IBD Youth Talent and Career Fair series continues, and always in a hybrid mode because of key post-pandemic lessons. On 5th August 2023, we held a successful youth-centric forum on Future-Proofing Your Career Prospects in the 21st Century. The training, led by the Founder of Impact Borderless Digital (IBD), dwelt on productivity tools, skilling, and personal branding.

Watch the recorded session here:

Let’s face it! We have been training primary school learners using the tools, approaches and experiences that will, to the most part, have been retired by the time they enter their respective post-college labour markets. Such is the predicament of many college graduates in the rapidly evolving technology marketplace. The majority (more than 75% as shown in the chart, according to a 2021 youth survey in Kenya supported by the African Centre for Career Enhancement and Skills Support – ACCESS) join industry only to find that reskilling and retraining is more of a necessity than a choice.

How can the youth cope with this new reality, which places urgent and rapidly changing demands on their adaptive skills development? That was the leading question of the day on which the Founder of IBD talked to the youth on the topic of future-proofing their career prospects. In this new era, linear career growth pathways are convincingly losing ground in favour of collaborative, interdisciplinary and non-linear career development trajectories.

The productivity tools shared included horizontal solutions in MS Office (PowerPoint design tips) as well as ready and free online tools for solving mathematical optimization problems, such as Desmos and HandyCalc.

Tips for lifelong skills development were shared, giving preference to interdisciplinary and collaborative engagements as a way of achieving adaptive resilience for career security in the new millennium.

Branding tips were also shared, of which ensuring consistency in messaging and sticking to one’s life’s philosophy emerged tops. It is about experience in the years as a measure of quality and competence, as opposed to merely citing the number of years of experience as an accounting unit for proficiency.

The youth participants were mainly undergraduate and graduate university students as well as young graduates. They were drawn from East Africa with diverse disciplinary and institutional affiliations as follows:

  • Geomatics – geospatial engineering and various branches of surveying, GIS and mapping
  • Environmental engineering, mining engineering, etc.
  • Business and supply chain studies
  • Kenya (universities, Kenya Power, private geomatics companies, business community)
  • East Africa, e.g., Calvin Andrwe Obel, joining from Uganda, represented the mentees associated with the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) “Mentornity” programme.

The participants appreciated the tips shared in the interactive session.

The following take-home message will remain unforgettable.

Being keen to account for the quality of experience in years, as opposed to considering years as accounting units for experience, came out as the key message from the host to the youth, and they need to embrace this perspective as a bankable branding strategy that will pay off in the long run.

Watch the recorded session here:

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