The mindset that can help you land your next job in a data-driven industry
Employer conversations and strategic planning in leading companies around the globe are now geared towards investing time and effort to arm their workforce with the skills of tomorrow.
In an era where employment is high but employability is low, nurturing, training, and upskilling talent is a high priority for most businesses. Employer conversations and strategic planning in leading companies around the globe are now geared towards investing time and effort to arm their workforce with the skills of tomorrow.
Companies are looking for candidates that are highly receptive to learning and adapting to change. It’s safe to say then that the talent pool, too, must be armed with the right frame of mind to get noticed in a competitive marketplace. Applicants must understand that what they know isn’t as important as how soon they can unlearn to relearn. That is the game-changer. And at this point, it would be a good idea to take a step back and re-evaluate your stance with agility before exploring job opportunities in a data-driven industry.
What employers want
The good news is that employers need you. They’re looking for passionate, proactive employees willing to learn the ropes of the business, ready to contribute to the organization’s ongoing success, fitting seamlessly into the company culture while also working constantly to better themselves. This might surprise some of you, but most employers aren’t looking for a perfect role match, nor are they hunting for the next big wunderkind. Instead, they’re scouting for minds with the emotional intelligence to be good team players, along with the ability to join the dots and see the whole picture. And what prospective employees of these companies should think about now is how they can stand out in a crowd of applicants.
Here’s what I think your next employer is looking for. Companies love people who:
● Have a natural curiosity and aptitude for learning
● Do not hesitate to ask incisive questions
● Are courageous enough to unlearn and relearn, fail fast and adapt faster
● Are aware of their skillsets with a clear view of the upskilling journey
And while only being technically proficient doesn’t cut it anymore, and your ability to find solutions to real-world business challenges is the real key to success, employers do prefer some skills over others. In a data-driven industry, it is important to have:
● Strong foundational skills in analytical reasoning, databases, and data frameworks
● The ability to be trilingual with data skills, domain and process skills, and the latest digital technologies
● A deep understanding of the business value of data, the ability to communicate its worth, and the skill to leverage it for the best outcome
● Mastery of at least one programming language with conceptual exposure in statistics and hands-on experience in data pipeline manageability so that you’re able to even switch between languages when needed
● The patience, creativity, and curiosity to build the best solution with robust implementation
The right fit for you
Always remember: an interview is never one-sided. Your next job will not only decide your career trajectory but also be part of your personal life. Compensation is just one part of the puzzle, albeit an important one. I’d urge all prospective candidates to train themselves to identify the unique morse code that each employer sends out before, during, and after an interview. You can develop this skill and get to know your prospective employer well by looking for some key indicators.
First, find out all you can about the company: visit their website, scour their social feeds, talk to existing employees. Maybe even try to gauge social sentiments about the company. While the organization assesses whether you’re the right fit for them, you must also evaluate if the company’s purpose aligns with your worldview. Find out the causes they’re passionate about. Something that goes beyond just the bottom line. Are they helping to build a better world in any way? During the interview process, you should definitely ask them about exciting projects that aim to make a meaningful impact by enabling digital sustainability, for example. Also, remember never to disregard your experience during the interview process; it can really reveal a lot about a company.
Will they also support you in your quest to build a better you? Find out as much as you can about learning opportunities, growth prospects, and scalability possibilities for the role. Ask about how they assess performance in their organization. Educate yourself about their investments in employee learning and upskilling frameworks. Think about whether the position will allow your skills the room to breathe and whether you’ll have the freedom to try new things and make a real difference.
In today’s job market, the biggest thing to keep in mind is that potential employers seek to build a symbiotic relationship that thrives on learning, exploring, and scaling up together. Skill development is a marathon, not a sprint, especially in a data-driven world. And intelligent employers know this well. They aren’t looking to merely tick checkboxes off a resume. They want you to show them the depth of your knowledge and your intention to learn, adapt, and thrive with the company. So go right ahead, and build your own road to the job you deserve.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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