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Even if you’ve been living under a rock for the last year, you’ve probably still managed to hear something about the metaverse — the term has been everywhere recently. You might think this won’t be relevant for you if you work in a completely different sector or have already reached a senior point in your career, but the metaverse is seeping into all aspects of life — both personal and professional.
That might seem scary at first, but these developments are also likely to yield new opportunities. Let’s look at how it could impact your work and what you need to do to adapt and stay ahead.
Wave goodbye to Zoom
Are you one of the many professionals who suffered from so-called “Zoom fatigue” over the pandemic? The metaverse could be on its way to curing the fatigue. Imagine being able to interact with your colleagues or clients in an environment that comes close to mimicking reality — but then taking off your headset and glasses and remaining in your own comfortable home office.
Although most people associate virtual reality with gaming, it would give us new ways to interact with others in all spheres of life. While Zoom is typically plagued with concerns about who has left themselves on mute or speaking over others, virtual reality would enable us to read social cues and body language of whoever we’re talking to, just like we do in the real world.
Yet, it’s far more convenient to talk to someone in the metaverse than to travel across the country or world to meet them in person, opening up all kinds of new opportunities.
Faster employee turnover
We’ve already witnessed the beginning of a shift toward remote work. Anyone who expected the world to “return to normal” after the effects of the pandemic hit has now been proven wrong. Many companies have realized that allowing their employees to work from anywhere opens them up to a whole new pool of labor. Recent figures suggest that more than 10% of jobs advertised are now remote.
The metaverse is likely to accelerate this trend. Organizations will be able to interview candidates through virtual reality and face fewer hurdles when working alongside a team from diverse locations.
The good news for you? More job opportunities. More senior positions are typically harder to come across due to how specific they are, but the metaverse would open up the whole world.
However, there’s bad news too — all of this would result in a more competitive job market. An up-and-coming professional from the other side of the globe could take your place overnight.
Brand new jobs
Technological innovations almost always result in new sectors springing up, and the metaverse is unlikely to be an exception. We’re so early in the process that it’s hard to predict exactly which jobs will emerge, never mind whether it will impact your current work.
Will branding professionals have to consider how they can apply their marketing strategies to the metaverse? How about human resources leaders reasoning with employees who refuse to choose appropriate avatars during virtual meetings?
These predictions might be way off. However, as a senior professional, it’s up to you to stay on top of these trends and possibly adapt your skillset accordingly.
Improved training and skills development
An important part of being a manager or business leader is training those on your team and facilitating their professional development. We’ve seen lots of innovations here recently, such as learning and development technology, but the metaverse would really take things to the next level. You wouldn’t just be learning the theory behind something — you could practice it.
The most obvious application of this would be for employees doing practical work, such as learning to use machinery, but metaverse training could also be useful for knowledge workers. Maybe you’ll have the chance to practice giving an investor presentation in front of a simulated crowd or control a difficult meeting.
See you in the metaverse
It’s tough to imagine Dave from accounts and that bright spark from management interacting behind their avatars and wandering around some strange digital city as they talk about the company vision or catch up after the weekend. Yet, in a few years, this might seem as normal as emailing your team from your smartphone while you do your grocery shopping.
Some of the implications might seem scary, but try to focus on the positives. Your next job interview might take place on a Caribbean beach or even the planet Mars. Who wouldn’t want to experience that?