Change is constant in the workplace. From accountants to writers, jobs are evolving faster than ever before. Whatever your occupation, your job description would not be exactly the same in a few years from now. This means that what we are doing now will be different in the future.
How can you predict and prepare for this workplace of the future? What should you be doing now to make sure you succeed no matter what, and you don’t find yourself facing a dead end in your career, with no opportunity to change direction without crashing?
This article would give you some strategies you can begin pursuing now. They will help you keep your skills current, your opportunities open, and help future-proof your career.
1. Build and maintain networks
Networks will always be important. So, seek ways to connect with people, create and maintain contacts across multiple industries, disciplines and geographies, using multiple technologies and communication tools.
While doing your networking, you must also note that these contacts must be relevant and useful. Don’t mistake 2,000 LinkedIn connections as a good network, if you have more than 2,000 connections on LinkedIn, most of them probably don’t know who you are!
2. Be tech-savvy
Do you know that LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are now considered old school? The pace of technology is increasing, and much of the change we see has to do with new technology. Keep your technical skills current, even if new developments don’t seem directly related to your current job. Otherwise, you’ll be left behind and may have to catch up a huge amount before you can head off in a new direction in the future.
If that means learning the simplest online tools like blogging and web conferencing, do it. If you’re in a highly technical field of work, be proactive and stay current – even when your company does not.
3. Embrace change
You may think this is obvious, but few people actually consider this as a core skill worth developing. It can come naturally, but unless you are constantly stretching yourself, and trying new tasks, it is very easy to become adverse to change, which is incredibly dangerous.
Get ready for the change by proactively preparing yourself. Firstly, work out what these changes may mean for you, your profession and industry. With that knowledge, you’re better placed to determine what action you need to take to as a result.
4. Keep learning
Continued career success requires a constant desire to learn so you stay relevant in your profession. You can’t just wait for someone to tell you want you need to learn. You need to be abreast of the latest thinking and ideas from your profession, and also from complementary professions.
Don’t play safe. It is important to be prepared to take yourself outside your comfort zone – to learn new ways of working, experiment with different concepts and explore emerging ideas. Continual learning is a key skill that will future-proof your career.
What steps have you been taking to future-proof your career?