Digital disruption: A 5-step personal skills audit

It’s a cliché to say the world is changing. It has and also will.  What’s indisputable is that the pace of change is unprecedented. Digitisation is changing how we work. Job tenure has disappeared, and the rate of casual and contract work is increasing.  Career change is inevitable. Leadership and change expert Michelle Gibbings reveals how you can survive the evolving workplace.

A 2016 report by the CSIRO and Australian Computer Society, Tomorrow’s Digitally Enabled Workforce, predicts that nearly half of the jobs in Australia are at risk of computerisation and automation. So, are you ready for what the World Economic Forum is calling the fourth industrial revolution?

To stay ahead you need to learn with purpose by looking forward and determining what skills you need in the future. The best starting point is to conduct a personal skills audit.

Step 1Examine the present:  Identify all the current skills and knowledge you have, covering the spectrum of technical, functional and behavioural.

Step 2Imagine your dream job:  Think about what you really want to do, and where the real estate industry is heading. What does it look like, and what would it take for you to get there? Don’t limit your thoughts or ideas.

Research and discover what new skills or knowledge (technical, functional and behavioural) you would need to land such a position.

Step 3 Know the gap: Look at the gap between your current skill set and the desired future. For each element rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 4:

  1. No current skill or knowledge
  2. Some skill or knowledge, but not proficient
  3. Competent at this skill and have knowledge
  4. Expert with a high degree of skill and knowledge

Step 4 – Get creative: Craft a list of activities you can undertake to close the gap, and identify the priorities to be addressed. This may include books to read, courses to enrol in, journals to subscribe to, new people to meet and new practices to perfect.  

Make sure you stretch yourself and have a balance of activities that will be challenging and fun.  Consider having a mixture of activities that are cerebral, physical and spiritual – i.e. good for the mind, body and soul.

Step 5 – Build your plan:  Create a personal development plan that maps out your learning goals, and what you will do and by when. Having completion dates and success measures is critical so you can hold yourself to account and monitor progress.

And then, the only thing left to do is to put your plan into action and check progress. Also, don’t forget to reward yourself. Celebrate your learning and achievements.

Learning to love learning is a life skill, and it’s even better when you are learning with purpose. To thrive in the face of this constant stream of change, be ready to step outside your comfort zone, adapt your operating style and update your knowledge bank.

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Michelle Gibbings

Michelle Gibbings is a change and leadership expert and founder of Change Meridian. Michelle works with leaders and teams to help them accelerate progress. She is the Author of ‘Step Up: How to Build Your Influence at Work’. For more information, visit