How LinkedIn Is Helping Us Prepare For The Future Of Work

Technology has posed industry experts with a strange dilemma.

They find it easier to predict the impact of technologies like Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of things, cryptocurrencies, etc.  but find it hard to clarify as to the role of human beings in an industry.

In fact, many labour market studies such as white papers by the World Economic Forum(WEF), suggest that 65% of today’s students may end up in jobs that are not yet in existence. These reports also claim that prevalent systems of education and adult skill development may not be sufficient to prepare them for these jobs, or pursue viable self – employment. Moreover, 3 billion people in the global workforce are expected to fall behind in adjusting to industry trends and reduction of gender disparity may come to a stand-still.

Does this mean humans might become obsolete? Not at all. Systems become obsolete but human beings can adapt and evolve.

For example, the following graph for the US job market captures the 2018 forecast by Linkedin, based on existing trends of that time

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 Then again, the underlying trends changed within 2 years and Linkedin’s 2020 US report for emerging jobs predicts a 50% growth across all engineering roles, continuous growth in online learning and also a huge jump in sales roles like Customer Success Specialist and Sales Development Representative. Maybe the roles of editor and journalism are on a decline, but the importance of journalistic and editing skills has risen amidst content creators, data scientists, sales professionals, marketers, and management.   An interesting category to get included in emerging jobs is that of behavioural health technicians, especially for insurance purposes of covering a subject’s mental health. Apart from the reports, one can observe that the pandemic resulted in a shift to work from home practices and there appears to be a rise in service providers who offer administrative assistance.

 If Trends are so Volatile, What is the Future of Work?

According to case studies by Mckinsey, technology can counter the negative impacts of technological disruption and foster inclusive growth and digital wellbeing. In agreement with WEF suggestions, one such study identifies intentional learning as a skill and suggests that professionals adopt 5 measures i.e. growth mindset, curious approach, encouraging actionable feedback, countering distractions and consistent metacognition. #LinkedIn is one such technology that can nurture the skill of intentional learning, whether it is the professional network or LinkedIn Learning.

 Another study states that technology can improve transparency in nearly 100 possible uses of digital identification and create economic value of 3-13% of GDP growth across 7 countries i.e. Ethiopia, the UK, USA, Nigeria, India, Brazil & China. More than 50% of this value shall get accrued by individuals across various strata of society. It is safe to presume that this will stimulate mutual access to economic opportunities across race, ethnicity, religion, region, and other forms of social insulation. Isn’t it obvious as to how LinkedIn may fit into the generation of leads and work? As a social network, it can help businesses to not only engage employees and customers simultaneously but also diversify revenue streams through targeted lead generation.

 What makes LinkedIn Relevant to the Future?

The 1st quarter of 2020 witnessed a 22% Year-on-Year (YoY) increase in LinkedIn sessions while the 2nd quarter of 2020 witnessed a 21% increase in LinkedIn’s YoY revenue. It may be premature to link the two but one thing is certain, increased time on LinkedIn has convinced many users to avail various paid offerings of the network for business and learning, owing to the following:

1.      Information: LinkedIn houses credible information, links and resources about policy, industry, expert insights and nuanced interpretations of ground realities. It can arm professionals with the right data as well as the references that make it easier to present a pitch for marketing a product, service, or a personal brand. This information is also useful in data or management related tasks, lead generation, after-sales and relationship building. The prolonged months of social distancing and new legislation about data privacy may have given everyone a glimpse of the way industries may operate in the future. Herein, LinkedIn is an accepted standard for information and transparency. Furthermore, it also helps professionals to learn intentionally through an interface that encourages feedback, filters out distractions that plague other social networks. More importantly, it gives you the opportunity to create a network that helps you cultivate a growth mindset, gathers actionable responses and practice self-reflection i.e. meta-cognition.

2.      Illustration: Interfaces and templates have not only raised human awareness towards the countless possibilities of seamless and convenient presentation and consumption of information, they have also made users more adept at compiling and illustrating information. When it comes to LinkedIn, the feed of content along with the publishing/ editing tools for posts, articles, videos, and comments have provided users with the technological acumen along with the skills to work and collaborate remotely. You can create messaging groups or LinkedIn groups for customers and employees while populating the information resources that do not need subscriptions or e-mail registrations. Your short-form posts and polls could act as a common resource for discussions with the existing network as well as content marketing for lead generation.

3.      Influence: LinkedIn is a content-driven platform that can sustain a laser focus on professionally relevant content in the right network. It is not about a viral post of occasional popularity, but continuous growth in the audience of connections and/or followers who look forward to reading or viewing your next post or update. Celebrities are not the only source of influence and your competitors do not outbid you for their word. The future of work is all about an influencer who provides an authentic, transparent and first-hand representation of the work that is endorsed by consumers, colleagues, and followers. LinkedIn can be seen as a place for dialogue between employees, consumers, and management for matters that do not necessitate mailers or official records.

4.      Collaboration: Fear of technology is not a new occurrence, but the adaption of technology to overcome this fear is a welcome change. A good example is that of the physical retail sector, which didn’t surrender to the fear of e-commerce but emerged as a major player in social commerce or Offline-to-Online (O2O) business model. What is most surprising is the fact that the O2O model is an offshoot of B2B social selling. Since its inception, LinkedIn has grown to be the foremost choice of B2B marketers to distribute nearly 94% of their content. Moreover, LinkedIn funnels more than 50-% of social traffic to B2B blogs and websites. This type of lead generation attracts offline leads to the online sales funnel i.e. O2O. In this regard, one can say that LinkedIn is the future of work.

In conclusion, the professional world has changed and will continue to change, driven by demographic & technology changes.

They say there are those who fit inside a box, those who think outside the box and those who don’t see a box at all. Which one are you?

If you want more help on how to use LinkedIn as a business tool, let’s talk.

Reserve a spot on my calendar here and let me know what you are trying to achieve and I’ll either share with you how I can help you or introduce you to someone else who can.

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