Think Hub

How to gain experience and skills for a career in the digital economy

Written by Birgit Thümecke · 4 min read >
How to gain experience and skills for a career in the digital economy

Meet Becky. She’s a smart young recruitment professional from a mid-sized town near Chicago in America’s Midwest. And she’s unemployed, despite an honours degree which saddled her with $35,000 in student debt. Automation in the HR industry has made her junior position redundant.

If predictions are to be believed, this is a nightmare scenario that is poised to play off on a large scale across multiple industries and countries over the next few decades. Those with a fervent imagination can probably hear the voice-over in their heads, like something from a cheesy 1980s horror movie.

“First they came for the blue collar workers, and now they’re coming for those working in the professional service industries.”

Automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning, gig economy, and robotics have all become dread words as the Fourth Industrial Revolution steams inexorably onward. But is it really all doom and gloom for young professionals looking to make their mark in the world?

At first glance, the predictions are not on the side of youth. The Brookings Institution calculated that 25% of American jobs are at high risk of automation, with the risk for those in the 16 – 24 age group the highest. Although areas like office administration (60%) and construction (50%) face some of the highest levels of automation, the seemingly unassailable legal profession is also not immune with a 38% risk.

Across the pond, in the UK, the future doesn’t augur well either, with 30% of jobs at risk of automation by the 2030s. Even the venerable accounting profession faces a 94% chance of extinction.

The flip side of the coin looks equally dire. 49% of global employers are struggling to fill vacancies due to massive skills shortages, according to a ManpowerGroup survey. And that is exactly where the opportunity lies for ambitious young professionals who want to grab the world by the scruff of the neck. Let’s dig in further to see what the Beckys of the world should do to set themselves up for success.

In a hurry to upskill and gain experience? Check out the exciting openings we have for ambitious young professionals

But first, some more bad news. An oft-quoted Oxford university study estimated that almost half of US jobs were at high risk of automation over the next ten to twenty years. And that study was based on advances in Machine Learning and Robotics back in 2013!

Fortunately, the same study also came up with the antidote – those human skills that are currently immune to robotic replication.

For the foreseeable future, artificial intelligence will struggle to compete with our creative intelligence and its ability to produce original ideas and creative solutions. Robots are also not able to mimic sophisticated human perceptions and insights related to other people. Which is probably a good thing; one Dr Phil is enough.

In the same vein, it’s difficult to picture software being able to negotiate a peace settlement or a major business merger. And of course, it’s called the art of persuasion for a reason. Definitely not a machine learning strength – yet.

The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs report came up with its own prediction for most valuable skills which they have been tracking since 2015:

It is worth noting that Complex Problem Solving remained in pole position, while Critical Thinking and Creativity have moved into the second and third spots respectively. Emotional Intelligence and Cognitive Flexibility (your ability to switch between different mental tasks) both make a first time appearance.

At least half of the top skills are related to communication and collaboration, which should be seen as foundation skills that can be honed into top ten skills. But where or how do you get to do all that honing?

It’s a sad truth that many entry level roles are aimed that cost-effective execution of repetitive tasks. Exactly those tasks that will vanish within a few years from now. The old cliche of needing skills and experience has taken on a new meaning – you need ‘the right’ skills and experience.

So, the quandary for many young professionals is that they know they need skills and experience that universities and most entry-level jobs don’t offer. They often just don’t know where to go and get them. The good news is that forward-thinking startups like Eventerprise offer a powerful solution. It makes sense though; startups are generally already operating at the vanguard of commercial and societal change.

Many startups also offer something else, above skills and experience, and that’s purpose. Eventerprise, for example, is on a mission to make an extremely fragmented and under-served events industry more transparent and filled with value for all its participants. As the CEO of the company I like to believe that it played a role in the phenomenal growth of the young professionals who have taken their careers to the next level in our digital-first environment.

What does Eventerprise offer young professionals?

Collaborate within a strong culture that teaches work ethic as a way of living. When you believe in what you do and want to succeed, hard work becomes second nature.

Come to grips with the huge (global) growth potential of digital platforms and marketplaces.

Work closely with a leadership team that offers many years of experience and insights into a variety of business-related disciplines.

Learn faster, wider, and deeper than ever before on our agile development path.

Acquire the latest in-demand skills within a digital-first startup environment.

Interact with a diverse global team and gain life-changing multicultural and international exposure.

Celebrate female leadership, diversity, and inclusion.

Future-proof your career for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Discover opportunities to travel and explore the world on multiple levels

Work remotely or at our Cape Town, South Africa, operational hub.

There are of course a few expectations from our side

We expect that you take full ownership of everything that you do. That will require resilience and endurance, especially when things don’t go your way.

Sound work ethic is one of our core values. We hope you share that with us.

As the WEF mentioned, problem-solving skills are where it’s at. In a startup environment, your ability to come up with solutions to new challenges will be tested every day. Just like a startup needs to be agile in everything it does, so do you.

Sitting on the fence can be dangerous. That’s why forward motion is always powered by confident decision making. We support and guide, but we don’t hold hands. (Initiative is such a beautiful word.)

Opportunity knocks every day and around every corner. It just needs an attentive person to open the door. We’ve built an environment that’s conducive to out-of-the-box thinking. We trust you will seek out the fresh angles and openings.

Be bold and daring – within reason. We enjoy sparring with each other (it promotes creativity), but we always keep it respectful. Likewise, we move fast and break things to learn more, but we do so cognizant of all the relevant details.

________________________________

If you have read this far without breaking down in tears, well done. You may just be who we are looking for. One or two more carrots before we introduce you to some of our current career opportunities for young professionals.

We follow a performance-based remuneration model across the company. If you bring special skills to the party, we will definitely consider it in our offer. However, as a startup, our value proposition should be in what you can learn rather than a market-related salary. Longer-term, there is also potential to join our permanent core team, as well as acquiring equity through an employee stock ownership plan.

So without any further fanfare, here are some of those opportunities we’ve been going on about. Have a look and send through your application if you feel Eventerprise is the right fit for your career.

Junior Financial Operations Coordinator

Junior Freelance Graphic Designer

Junior Digital Marketer

Freelance UX Designer

Freelance UX Writer

Web Copywriter

Learn more about Eventerprise on our Careers Page.