In today’s modern society, we hear many instances of modern-day problems such as technology replacing the low-skilled workforce or the oversupply of graduates causing a spike in global unemployment rates. Arguably, it is definite that certain jobs will be replaced by technology such as high-risks and administrative jobs.

However, are smarter technology and oversupply the real reasons for unemployment? 

The ugly reality is that people don’t change. We are not willing to step out of our comfort zones to make a difference – conform to the ever-changing demand, and adapt to the technological changes.  As life progresses, you are guaranteed to face a variety of circumstances, changing environments, and new roles that require you to adapt to them. If you refuse to change, you will be replaced by others who are more competitive. Essentially, to survive the competitive job market, you have to determine how replaceable you are.

A personal development plan will help you handle the pressure that comes within – the continuous changes and challenges, so that you are well-equipped to excel in all the areas in your life. Individuals who are irreplaceable prioritizes personal development.  Personal development is important because it is an ongoing process of self-improvement either in your career, education, personal life, or all of the listed. It is about pushing yourself out of your comfort zones by setting goals for yourself and putting plans into place in aims to reach those goals. 

Personal development enriches your career journey because it develops your strength. By taking time to nurture and practice your strengths more, you can excel at it. You can reach your potential and achieve great growth by developing the skills that you are already good at. Moreover, it is an opportunity to take an honest look at the areas of your life that needs improvements. In your self-reflection, you identify the areas of your job that you do not like, or are not good at. Therefore, you become aware of your weaknesses. Furthermore, you get to know who you really are, what your true values are, and where you would like to go in life.

Everyone has something that they’re good at; be it calculating, managing, leading or something else. However, if one is satisfied with their current ability, they will be highly replaceable, but on the other hand, are not able to replace others. Therefore, to let oneself be someone valuable, one must be proactively seeking improvement. No one is the best at anything. The moment you feel content is the moment you risk being replaced by a constantly improving individual. There should always be room for improvement because there is never ending new things to learn and explore. 

The definition of “replaceable” does not only mean how others can replace you, but it also addresses how you can be of value to society, and be someone who is able to take over another’s position from your capability. Experience is always more important than knowledge learnt from textbooks. When you are involved in a different working environment, you gain different experiences. Thus, when you are capable and your values have been noticed by your firms for promotions or to take over another person’s role, it means that you are highly competitive compared to others that are only involved in one specific working environment. You will not have to worry if others would easily replace you, as you are able to work in any other field.

Written by:

Tan Foong Jing & Wong Ying Jie (Associates of the ICMS-MY & HK Secretarial Division 2020/21)