We can all become expendable in our careers and that is why you need to find a way to future proof your career. Job security is not as solid as it was in years gone by. There is a new workplace culture and environment. If you want to survive and succeed in this new world, you need to craft your own specific plan for cultivating your value in the workplace. This article will discuss 10 ways that you can implement into your daily life in order to future proof your career.
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1. Expand Your Virtual Presence
Technology is advancing daily, and you sometimes may wonder how you can keep up with all the advancements. In a world where everyone basically “lives” online, you need to expand your own virtual presence. In a recent Huffington Post article digital natives vs digital immigrants were discussed. Digital natives belong to the generation of individuals who were born into the digital age; whereas digital immigrants were born prior to the rapid advancement of the technological age. Basically, if you are under the age of 30, you are considered a digital native. Oh well, too bad for all those digital immigrants, right? That’s why if you are part of the digital immigrant group, you need to get connected to advancing technology and expand your virtual presence in order to future proof your career.
2. Expand Your Skillset & Abilities
If you want to future proof your career, you must be continually learning and seeking ways to expand your skillset and abilities. For example, you can future proof your career by learning the skill sets of the workforce of the future. Some of those skills include the following: conservationism, holistic thinking, virtual connectivity, independent work mindset, and data analysis. If you can continually learn and advance as a professional, you will be one step ahead of your competition and become invaluable to employers.
3. Hone a Specific Talent or Skillset
It is good to be diverse in your workplace capabilities. However, those individuals who learn how to hone a specific talent or skillset will future proof their career. For example, learn a language like Spanish, Chinese or Japanese so that you have now set yourself apart and become more invaluable to employers. However, if you do this, you need to become a “master” at this skill set so that you can truly stand out from the competition.
4. Stay Informed of Current Events
Gone are the days when you could mind your own business and not pay too much attention to the news and current events. It is more vital than ever that you stay informed of current events and ascertain how they are shaping the future of the workplace environment. The more you know, the more adaptable you will be in forging your place in the workforce of tomorrow.
5. Activate Your Network Nerve Center
This “Network Nerve Center” is the “brains” of your operation. You need to activate this network in order to find new opportunities for personal growth and development. Your network should consist of professional contacts on LinkedIn, trusted friends, colleagues and coworkers. However, the important factor to remember is to surround yourself with positive and encouraging individuals who have similar goals as you. Otherwise your network nerve center will break down and won’t operate under optimal conditions for success in future-proofing your career.
6. Cultivate Your Personal Network
In addition to activating your professional network, it is also important to cultivate your personal one. For example, if your personal life is a mess, that factor will translate poorly into counter-productive results in your professional life. If you want to future proof your career, you need to take time for rest, relaxation, and exercise. Eat a healthy diet and surround yourself with well-grounded friends and family members who can help you to grow and develop on a personal level.
7. Nurture Your Entrepreneurial Spirit
Another way to future proof your career is to nurture your entrepreneurial spirit. The world as many of us knew it is changing at an ever-increasing pace. Job security is on the decline, and people are working harder than ever, without the same amount of reward as in the past. That is why it is important to nurture your entrepreneurial spirit so that you have a back-up plan in the event that you have been down-sized or find yourself working several jobs.
8. Embrace Tolerance & Diversity
There will come a time when you may have to work for a manager who is younger and less experienced than you. If you want to future proof your career, you need to learn how to embrace tolerance and diversity in the workplace and in our global world. Learn the art of cultivating teamwork and working together with others who are different than you. Those times can become major brainstorming sessions where new ideas are born.
9. Decide to Become an Innovator
Innovators are trendsetters who set the pace of our society. If you want to future proof your career, you need to make a firm decision to become an innovator. This includes cultivating outside-the-box thinking and changing your perspective to a more global, all-inclusive mindset. Decide to motivate others to embrace this same type of innovative thinking as well.
10. Mesh Your Work-Life Goals
This final step in future-proofing your career begins with figuring out how to mesh your work-life goals. For example, ensure that you budgeted your personal finances correctly so that you can save at least 10% of your income while paying your bills and living comfortably. Strategize for your retirement and find a way to ensure that you will be financially prepared for life after your career is over.
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Have you taken any steps to future proof your career? If you’ve taken some steps, please feel free to share your experiences while completing them.