Will your role be valuable in the future? - James MacDonald
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Will your role be valuable in the future?

Will your role be valuable in the future?

Each day I meet people who are in the job market somewhere between; “I am extremely happy where I am and never leaving”, or the other end of the spectrum “I’m out of a job and will accept anything”. Unless you are absolutely desperate I believe the following quote should be something you should ponder:

“You should focus relentlessly on something you’re good at doing, but before that you must think hard about whether it will be valuable in the future.” – Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

Too often I speak with people who 1) are doing a job for the sake of a pay cheque 2) have a shortsighted view of where their career is heading and just looking for an extra few dollars when making their next career move. They are not passionate about what they are doing, and give no thought to what their career will look like in the future.

Focusing on your future, and where you can be most valuable will have a positive long term payoff. Accepting a role for a little less money now, for the opportunity to learn new technologies, grow in your leadership skills, broaden your skill set can so often be the right move.

This quote was at the forefront of my mind when I decided that I was going all-in on recruitment being my career. There has been much talk about the future of recruitment and whether, like many industries it will become disrupted and the role of recruitment consultant become obsolete.

I have no doubt the industry will change, like it has many times before with the additions of new technologies. I am a believer that ‘people’ and human interaction are at the heart of what recruitment should be about and will continue to be valuable in the future.

Peter Thiel doesn’t shy away from technology providing opportunities and having significant impact on the way we live our lives. But he also acknowledges that humans play a part in this process, saying:

“Watson, Deep Blue, and ever-better machine learning algorithms are cool. But the most valuable companies in the future won’t ask what problems can be solved with computers alone. Instead, they’ll ask: how can computers help humans solve hard problems?”

I truly believe this is valuable to consider for anyone making their next career move. Ask yourself three questions:
1. Are you doing something you’re good at?
2. Will your role be valuable in the future?
3. How can you work with technology to help solve hard problems?

If you answered ’No’ to either of the first two questions then It would be a good time to reassess your current role and where you want to head in your career. You may need move industries or it could be as simple as upskilling. Question #3, aligns with the change in technology from a support function to an enabling function, how is your role impacted by technology, and how can you use this to your advantage in helping solve real business problems?

It’s never a bad time to sit back and have a look at where your career is heading, when was the last time you did?