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What career should I choose?

Are there smart career choices?

We constantly hear that society is changing. The green shift, globalisation, automated production, artificial intelligence and that we will be, as many of us already are, on digital platforms around the clock. A picture is drawn of a rapidly changing workplace, with an increase in flexibility, people working from home, more frequent job changes and many setting up their own consulting service rather than being a fulltime employee. «Gig-markets» has become a buzzword.

How will this affect your choice of career?

Many of these shifts are already steamrollering along. The green shift started a long time ago, and digital platforms that govern our lives, especially due to lockdown in the covid-era, have become commonplace. But this picture can also be misleading.

Even if work-content and the way we work changes, many professions will still be around. People will continue working in the same sectors as before – transport, health, sales, food, building and construction, etc. There will also continue to be a strong demand for vocational competency. But digitization and automation will force changes within all sectors and professions.

How does this affect your choice of career? Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • When the economy is in transition, as it always is, those who master a singular competency come out best. Jack of all trades is fine, but if you master one, you can more easily acquire additional skills and understand how new technology can be harnessed.
  • Don’t try to pick a profession for the future. Yes, there are trends and mega trends. But nobody knows what the future will bring. The companies you will work for in 10 or 20 years time are most likely not established yet.
  • Choose a career direction based on your interests and what motivates you. Regardless of profession, you will be entering a continuous learning process for the rest of your life. And your motivation will be the driving force to enable you to stay in demand in the work place.

What about flexibility? Take assignments when you want them? Decide your own working hours? Take time off to realize those dreams? Excellent! And the supply of projects you can make a living from are increasing every day in our digital world. However, note the following:

  • As a free-lancer, working on assignments, you don’t have the same rights as an employee. But you can of course take out your own insurance scheme and enter into a private pension savings scheme.
  • When employed you are entitled to paid sick leave, benefits from paid pension schemes and statutory dismissal rights. You are shielded against the downside, especially in the Nordic countries, but also in other countries in the EU and around the globe.
  • Whatever choices you make, join a union. There are many membership benefits; free legal and career advice, favorable loan and insurance terms, amongst others.

Are you the entrepreneurial type – one who seeks to exploit a commercial opportunity, either by bringing a new product or process to the market? Great – society needs new investment and innovation that boosts the economy. And if you succeed, you could become financially self-sufficient and realize your dream at the same time.

But, again:

  • No upside without a downside. The project can fail or you can fall ill.
  • Remember to make a contingency plan and act accordingly. We take out fire insurance, not because we think the house will burn down, but to protect ourselves against the consequences if it does.

So what is the determining factor for a successful career?

Your interest and motivation for your chosen profession. Don’t listen to other people’s advice. It may be well-meant, but you are the only one who knows what motivates you.

And lastly, spend some time on setting up your CV and cover letter. It’s all about selling yourself to secure that dreamjob.

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