← Back to the blog

Article
Career Development

Looking Ahead: What To Expect for the UK’s Job Market in 2024

General Assembly
March 9, 2024

The future of work in the UK is undergoing a seismic shift, and both employees, as well as companies, need to be aware of these changes and adapt to them in order to stay ahead of the curve.

As part of Looking Ahead 2023, General Assembly brought together an exciting panel of industry experts to share their thoughts and insights on the evolving landscape of the UK job market. 

Moderated by Ashka Raval, career coach at General Assembly, the panel consisted of:

  • Anne Benedict, Chief People Officer at COMPASS Pathways
  • Natasha Stanley, Head Career Coach and Experience Designer at Careershifters
  • Richard Wood, Organisational Design & Transformation Partner at The Ready

EMBRACING THE DIGITAL ERA 

Since COVID-19, the way that we have approached work has changed significantly. In particular, we began to rely a lot more heavily on digital tools and have integrated them into our professional environment.

The Efficient Role of AI

Unsurprisingly, one of the tools that is leading the way in this digital revolution is artificial intelligence (AI). While some people may still have reservations about AI, there is no denying the power and potential that it has in reshaping the workplace and its increasing essentialness.  

A key reason for this is that AI helps to increase efficiency in daily workflows. As mentioned by Wood, the integration of AI and digital tools can help to optimise productivity by taking over menial tasks such as note-taking, which allows workers to be able to allocate their time and energy better towards being more present in meetings, thus making them more productive and engaged. 

‘If we get all of that automated, then we spend less time doing the nitty-gritty and more time doing the brain work, which I feel will be really valuable,’ says Wood. He adds that it is also imperative that the right environment is cultivated in order to maximise the potential of these tools.  

‘The tools can enable us, but only if we create the conditions for us to be able to work.’

A Change in Perspective

While digital transformations continue to thrive, such structures and practices in the workplace aren’t as foreign as they may first appear. Stanley, whose company CareerShifters has been fully remote for almost two decades, says that they’ve been adopting these methods for a long time, but admits that in the past they were considered a lot more niche, perhaps even weird. 

These days, however, things are radically different. With these new ways of working being more visible and openly discussed, Stanley says that those who are entering the workforce now feel more empowered to ask for or even expect things that were considered unimaginable before — including flexible and remote working. 

COMMUNITY AND HUMAN CONNECTION

As the professional landscape becomes increasingly digital, there is also a growing importance for the need for genuine connection within the workplace. While AI is able to do certain tasks more efficiently and effectively, the one thing it lacks is a human touch, something that has become very valuable in providing contrast towards the technological narrative. 

‘We’re increasingly isolated from human connection… and the workplace is a place where you have a community who will share, probably, some similar values with you,’ says Benedict. She explains that as an employer, she tries to leverage the power of a community to make people feel like they belong and that the community they belong to is a valuable one.

Well-Being & Mental Health

In order to ensure the well-being of employees, discussions in the workplace need to go beyond checking in purely on work-related issues. As Stanley suggests, it is beneficial in every meeting to include time for other things in life to come in, to the extent that people are comfortable.

‘It’s very easy for people to show up, paste on a smile, and then disappear and actually kind of be bubbling under the water a little bit,’ she says, emphasising the importance of showing genuine concern for people’s mental health outside of their screens. 

FINDING FULFILMENT AND SUCCESS IN YOUR CAREER

With information and technology becoming increasingly accessible to everyone, there is a growing trend of individuals who are choosing to forge their own paths to success, such as starting their own companies or creating their own products. While such pursuits are certainly noble and can be very rewarding, Benedict suggests that individuals should consider carefully before embarking on the entrepreneurial route. 

‘I don’t think that’s for everyone. Really if you’re thinking about that, think through whether that’s really the right thing for you,’ she cautions. ‘It can be very lonely… It’s really hard work.’

Stanley agrees, suggesting that there are a whole bunch of different ways in which people find fulfilment in their work; what is key is finding what will be fulfilling for you rather than trying to fit into someone else’s ideal narrative. 

She adds that most of the time, ‘choices that are driven by scarcity and the fear of being left behind very rarely turn into a fulfilling working life.’ It is important, therefore, to set clear goals and objectives for yourself and your career in order to have a better sense of direction and intention when searching for fulfilment. 

UPSKILLING WITH PURPOSE

A key component of achieving career success in the workplace today is to constantly upgrade one’s repertoire and upskill. Companies are starting to shift away from job-based structures, moving towards skill-based structures instead. 

This essentially means that instead of having one employee within fixed roles and responsibilities, companies look at engaging people who are good at a bunch of different things and able to fill in the gaps when needed. According to Stanley, this is great news. 

‘You have the freedom to become really good at the skills that you really enjoy using — whether those are hard, technical things or softer power skills — and market yourself on that basis, rather than having to… fit yourself into this very specific job box in order to meet all of the requirements on a particular job specification.’

But while upgrading one’s skills is essential, it is important not to do so blindly or just for the sake of doing so. As Benedict points out, particularly in the tech industry, ‘people (chase) the latest skill set, and then it becomes obsolete.’ Rather, she encourages people to show the ‘ability to be curious and learn and be open to change’. 

Pursuing A Career Change

With the option to constantly upskill as well as reskill, many individuals have taken an even further step in their professional journeys by beginning a new chapter of their working lives with a career change. 

Pursuing a new career is certainly daunting, as it is filled with lots of uncertainty and challenges. What’s important to remember is that it doesn’t happen overnight, and rather than looking at it as one big drastic change, consider it as a series of steps that you have to take towards reaching your final goal. 

‘It’s much less like firing an arrow and more like steering a ship,’ says Stanley. ‘You just course-correct… so give yourself the space and the grace to inch your way forward.’

Transform Your Career with Tech Courses and Talent Solutions

Prepare yourself for the continued evolution in the UK job market by upgrading your digital skills with GA’s tech courses. Sign up for our free workshops and events to stay ahead of industry changes.

At GA, we offer a diverse range of tech courses and training solutions tailored to the demands of UK’s job market. Enhance your skill set with our employee skilling solutions and stay competitive in today’s digital era.

To find out more about GA’s course offerings, get in touch with our Admissions team by contacting ausnz_admissions@generalassemb.ly.

GA Universal Form

This is where your description should go.

What’s your reason for connecting? *

By providing your email, you confirm you have read and acknowledge General Assembly’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.