Anchoring yourself to a secure job that you can depend on for the rest of your professional life used to be a popular option. While times have changed — that doesn’t mean that people are too keen on making any radical career changes nowadays. During the COVID-19 crisis, people will do whatever it takes to hold on to a stable job.
That said, the new generation of employees has certain demands and expectations, and if you’re not happy with where you’re at right now, you shouldn’t hesitate to make a career change. More than ever before, the job market is teeming with lucrative opportunities, especially in the tech sector.
What’s more, you can leverage technology to make the most of your efforts. It can help you maximize your chances of landing an amazing job, steer your new career in the right direction, and make the right choice every step of the way. That’s why today, we’ll be going over the best practices you can employ to make a successful career change in the tech-driven world, survive in the world of IoT, minimize the risks, and maximize professional growth along the way.
It all starts with a personal SWOT analysis
Let’s start with an essential task all aspiring business leaders and career-driven individuals need to tackle first – creating and acting off of a detailed personal SWOT analysis. If you want to lead a thriving professional life and make all the right decisions during your career change, then you have to act on data, not your whims.
The personal SWOT analysis allows you to put things into perspective and take an analytical, data-driven approach to your career. What’s more, you can leverage SWOT analysis during multiple stages of your career change. That way, you’ll see if you’re on the right track, and use the information within to make any adjustments at a moment’s notice.
It’s the kind of flexibility you’ll need to make smarter long-term decisions.
Begin by defining your core strengths as well as the industry-specific strengths you have acquired thus far. Next, identify any innate weaknesses you might possess as well as the potential weaknesses that may come to light depending on the industry and field you’re interested in.
Continue by analyzing the industries and noting down as many opportunities as possible. These opportunities should pertain to job availability, salary potential, professional growth and advancement, networking, potential entrepreneurship down the road, and more.
Finish off the SWOT analysis by being honest with yourself and analyzing the fields you’re interested in. Pay attention to immediate, long-term, and potential threats driven by socio-economic, technological, and pollical changes. Armed with this information, you can easily narrow down your search and start networking with the right people.
Use video calls to connect with industry professionals
Successful people don’t like it when people waste their time. So if you’re looking to venture into a new industry, you have to do it without stepping on anyone’s toes. After all, making friends right off the bat is one of the best ways to get your foot in the door. You just need to network in a smart and efficient way.
During the pandemic, the chances are that nobody will want to meet with you in person. By the same token, they won’t be inclined to waste their precious time teaching you the ways of the industry. That’s okay, though; you can always use communication tech to compensate. You’ll be able to make networking more efficient, learn from the best, and most importantly, not waste anyone’s time in the process.
You need to learn to love virtual conferencing and accept the fact that you’ll be connecting with industry professionals almost exclusively online for the time being. Make sure to work on your soft skills and prepare a detailed itinerary for every call in order to extract as much valuable information from your interlocutors as possible.
As for where you should look for these people, well, that comes down to your industry, but generally, the best way to connect to industry professionals is through specialized platforms like LinkedIn. Alternatively, you can use one of many email finder tools if you don’t mind paying.
Leverage online learning to get certified
One of the most important steps you need to take to make a successful career change is to upskill. That typically means that you need to get certified to become qualified in that particular field. During the COVID-19 pandemic, traditional learning and training methods might be limited — but that’s nothing you can’t overcome with eLearning.
Take the healthcare industry as a prime example. The medical systems around the world are crumbling under the weight of the pandemic. At the same time, healthcare institutions in all medical sectors are in dire need of specialized and certified professionals.
Emergency life support is one of those fields that is highly sought-after now, so people looking to transition into the medical sector should look for online ACLS certification training to get the skills they need to join the fight against the pandemic. Following the same mindset, you should find the certification programs that you can complete online. Make sure to invest in eLearning programs with a high potential for professional growth, financial stability, and job security.
Build a career in tech and development
Technology is an extremely broad term that encompasses hundreds if not thousands of job opportunities in dozens of sectors. This is a thriving field, one that offers many lucrative prospects. It’s also a good place to build a career safely. After all, there will always be a job for tech talent in the modern world.
From cybersecurity and web design, all the way to software development and beyond, venturing into the tech field is a good way to future-proof your career. Of course, you have to make sure that your SWOT analysis allows such a transition. This is especially true if you’re coming from an unrelated field. You’ll have to devote time, money, and effort to upskill and get certified. Only then will you become a strong contender in the tech job market.
It’s also important to note that the entrepreneurial scene in the tech business represents another lucrative opportunity. While industry-specific knowledge and experience are a plus, you can choose to become an entrepreneur if you have a good enough idea and the resources to bring a crack team of professionals together. Get your investors lined up, and you can launch your very own tech startup in 2021.
Be mindful of AI advancements to future-proof your career
The technological revolution has definitely changed the way we do business, the way we run our companies, and how we perceive our jobs. For one, people are scared more than ever before of the threat that AI advancement poses for their job security. Now, you have to ask yourself whether or not your new industry and job will be impacted by AI and to what extent.
In some industries, AI will create more job opportunities and make your life easier. In other industries, it will automate certain tasks and render some job positions unnecessary. You must follow the trends and AI-proof your career.
The key is to make yourself invaluable to the sector and work with AI, not against it. Be proactive and creative, and figure out the unique opportunities of complementing AI advancement with your talents and expertise. If you do that, you become an indispensable asset to employers. Alternatively, leverage the right AI applications to take your own company forward.
Making a career change is never an easy task. However, you can make the challenge a lot less daunting if you leverage technology and use an analytical approach. Combine tips into one grand strategy to create a plan for a successful career change, and to start your new career path with a distinct advantage over the competition.
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Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending
London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.
According to an Oct. 10 tech.eu report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.
The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:
“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”
The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:
“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”
The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.
The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.
Featured Image Credit: Photo from Kennek.io; Thank you!
Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs
As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.
Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI
In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.
According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.
One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.
To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.
Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Google DeepMind; Pexels; Thank you!
UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations
As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.
Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation
To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.
The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.
Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.
The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba; Pexels; Thank you!