Why you need to be a shapeshifter to get ahead in your career


You don’t have to be a Star Trek fan to understand the merits of being a shapeshifter – essentially, someone who can assume whatever shape is conducive to success in a work environment. Being able to adapt and take on roles that require you to wear many hats is a skill that will see you through some of the toughest modern-day career challenges that employees face, and that they will likely face in years to come. 

Vega, a brand of the Independent Institute of Education (The IIE), shares a few reasons why job seekers and employees in the digital age need to be shapeshifters in order to get ahead. 

The only constant is change.

Employees in 2018 will have already noticed the rapid pace at which traditional work environments have shifted. And, thanks to the changes brought about by the rise of digital technology and innovation as well as the resulting increase in demand for employees with digital skills, the nature of work itself has also shifted. 

For example, entrepreneurs now need to have a much better understanding of social media then they did before in order to target their customers. Similarly, an individual hoping to land a role at a digital agency would be required to be able to use a variety of different platforms and software in their day-to-day duties. Just a decade ago, this wasn’t necessarily the case – and today, just when you think you know everything there is to know to make yourself ‘indispensable’, a new innovation comes along and increases demand for new skills.

Speaking of ‘indispensable’…

There’s no such thing as an indispensable employee. For one thing, companies can no longer afford to take the risk of hinging the success of their businesses on one or a few individuals. Instead of hiring employees to work in silos, employers are opting for individuals who can each contribute a wide and meaningful range of skills and expertise. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t take the necessary steps to future proof your career

Studying further is key to developing a high-level understanding of your field or industry, allowing individuals to take a step beyond what they were able to learn during undergraduate studies and delve deeper into specific topics and challenges that affect industries at large. 

The world of work is competitive.

According to the CareerJunction 2018 Index, supply heavily outweighs demand when it comes to certain skills, where there are more people in the market for sales and marketing positions, for example, than there is need for them. This means that job seekers are competing against others with the same skill sets for a limited number of jobs, where employers are looking to hire those who can bring something more to the table. 

A shapeshifter in this case is the candidate who has equipped themselves with in-demand skills to boost their employability. Staying ahead of industry news and trends and enrolling in online educational courses to develop your skills on a regular basis are both great ways to set yourself apart from the crowd.  

Shapeshifters are head hunted

It’s no secret that employers are always on the lookout for impressive and promising young graduates as well as individuals who are notably great at their current jobs, and who can add value  to their businesses. More often than not, employers are not just looking for great qualifications, but the industry and life experience that an individual gained during their studies.

Students at Vega, for example, are given the opportunity to engage in industry immersion and simulation exercises to gain insight and real-life insight into various industries. The Vega Brand Challenge is a great example of this, in which students are tasked with forming ‘agency’ teams to bring real client briefs to life, which they then present to clients. 

Career success in the modern-day work environment is a moving target designed to keep you on your toes, which is why you need to be a shapeshifter – someone who is able to adapt to change (instead of resisting it) in order to get ahead.

For more information on IIE qualifications available to study at Vega and other career-building opportunities designed to develop industry-leading shape shifters, visit www.vegaschool.com.