When sitting down to think about your career path, it’s important to try and visualise what your job might look like in 5, 10, or 20 years. Understanding where your organisation or entire industry is headed will help you stay up to date in skills and ensure you’re employable for years to come. Here’s how to future proof your career.
1. Change your mindset
The first step you should take to future proof your career is changing your mindset. Accept that change is inevitable, and that technology is always going to get better. And as technology evolves, so too will jobs and the workforce as we’ve seen in the past year. And the individuals who are adaptable, resilient, and willing to change will find more success than those who aren’t. It’s this foundational mindset that will set you up for future success, even if your job is on the path towards automation.
2. Become tech-savvy
We know it can be frustrating at times but becoming familiar with the latest in technology is another sure way to future proof your career. It’s essential to stay on top of new trends, even if they’re not 100% related to your field. Whether it’s catching up on the latest Microsoft Excel methods or taking a course in basic coding, it’s going to go a long way into ensuring you stay employable in the future as jobs evolve to meet the changing working landscape.
3. Develop your skills
Don’t just stop at improving your technical skills; employers are always going to be after individuals who have proven themselves to be great leaders, communicators, and work well as part of a team. Developing these skills today, even if they’re not related to your role, is another fantastic way to future proof a career. Take it one step further and start learning about something entirely unrelated to your field. This is becoming increasingly popular, which is why you’ll often find a nurse who dabbles in business studies, or an engineer studying the Monarch accounting course.
4. Cultivate a global mindset
Nowadays, the world is more connected than ever before. Businesses are culturally diverse, and span across a variety of different territories. As such, it’s important to cultivate a global mindset and think about your industry in the bigger picture. What’s happening in your sector on a bigger scale? How do other cultures approach the same work you do? Bringing a more international approach to your job is a desirable skill for employers, and a sure-fire way to future proof your career.
5. Keep a journal of your accomplishments
When you’re interviewing for new positions, it’s important to be able to recall what you’ve already achieved in your career. Potential employers will want to know what you can bring to the table. That’s why keeping a journal of all your accomplishments is a great way to future proof your working career. You’ll quickly and easily be able to identify your strengths before an interview and doing so will boost your confidence while you’re at it. It also might shine a light on some areas for improvement that would have otherwise flown under the radar.
6. Continue to build your professional network
As our working landscapes continue to evolve, one thing that stays the same is our professional network. So many jobs are found thanks to personal connections, that it’s impossible to overlook this when ensuring a long and successful career. And don’t just add people on LinkedIn and Twitter, either. Forging more personal connections with professionals across your industry ensures that you’ll be comfortable reaching out to them when you’re in need of some help or advice.
7. Keep track of trends in the industry
Doing some research into the trends of your industry will help you forecast where it’s heading. If your industry will become fully automated within a couple of years, then there’s no point in honing your skills to do that job. Stay up to date and you’ll easily be able to make small adjustments in your career that will ensure you have a job down the line.
8. Keep your career path open
This last point might sound counterintuitive, but it’s a big part of ensuring your entire working career is future proof. If you refuse to change course when it becomes clear that there’s no future in a particular industry, you’re obviously headed for trouble. Instead, take a proactive approach to your career and continuously review your opportunities for progression. Being willing and able to slightly pivot your career path will lead to more opportunities in the long run, and ensure a future proofed career.
Author bio: Rebecca Lee – Content Manager at Extras.com.au