Digital platforms offer exciting opportunities to re-define job descriptions, reduce or eliminate commute times and to share employment skills with a broader audience. Moreover, technology allows for formal training online with various providers (colleges, universities and for profit schools) that can meet the evolving skills required by various industries. Access to information is extremely powerful. Simply put, the digital world is the great equalizer for many physically disabled workers; it evens out the path.
Given the advancement in digital technologies we have a greater sense of industry trends in real-time by virtue of what our clients tell us. I have spent the last several months reviewing job postings both internal and external to my organization in addition to industry news articles with the goal of understanding where the industry of financial services is going as a whole rather than focus, as I have, specifically on the business unit within which I am currently employed (financial planning and wealth management). The reason for the narrow scope relates to the fact that most opportunities outside of my current business unit were traditionally located in Toronto. Now, thanks to digital technologies, those jobs are more likely to be based in “Toronto”. The latter seemingly more flexible around geography with some opportunity to work from home or another regional office.
Technology has not only changed how work is done, but it has also changed how we develop our saleable skills. Online learning platforms have made it possible for many to improve their credentials while managing full-time employment. We can continue to re-define ourselves or re-invent ourselves through the pursuit of academia and general interest courses. I have started to take courses at the University of Toronto in digital strategy and communications with the hope and belief that such training will be a solid complement to my existing skill set while squarely addressing a core area of business strategy for the foreseeable future. Over the next 10-15 years of work, it seems likely that I will continue to take courses in a never-ending effort to remain relevant. This principle is true for all in the digital age. To have a level playing field in the pursuit of training is an important foundation to advancement in the workplace.
I have often thought that if I had to be disabled, there was not a better time in history to be so than the present. Barriers are coming down everywhere I look. Innovation allows me to compete in the workplace at a high level. I feel like I am gaining momentum in this journey. Rolling “up hill” is met with less resistance. The world is different now. It is somehow smaller and I feel ready to embrace this benefit. In this day and age, I am told that “everyone is a publisher”. It seems apropos that I in turn, write my own story……….