Future-Proof

We live in a fast-changing society where technology, social attitudes, and even our climate can change everything from one day to the next. Machines are fast taking over certain business sectors and other entire industries are under threat because of climate change. So whilst your job and your career might be relevant today, it may not be so relevant (or even exist at all) in a few years time. But fear not, as we’re here to help you future-proof your career and prepare for any changes, however big or small, that could come your way.

So let’s take a look at four ways you can protect your job and future-proof your career.

1) Stay Informed

Whilst you can’t always predict the future, you can arm yourself with the right information to make informed decisions. Keeping up to date with industry trends as well as global trends and business news will help make sure that you understand any current or future changes that could affect your career and line of work. 

If you already have plans on which career to take in the future, stay informed by reading journals and articles that talk about the industry. In this way, you can properly set your expectations and determine if your skillset is enough for the career you would want to have. 

Realizing early that you still have to work on your skills in order to qualify for a specific job role will prompt you to hone your skills. When you know what you lack, you can easily look for platforms that can help you boost or acquire these skills. 

The good news is you don’t have to become a scholar or get a PhD to access this information. Thanks to modern technology, you can easily keep up to date and receive relevant information on a regular basis without having to go out of your way. Simply set up Google alerts based on your industry and get relevant information sent to your inbox. You can also sign up for newsletters from major players and thought leaders in your field. By drip-feeding yourself this information (perhaps by reading one article a day on your commute to work), you will always be well-informed and able to keep up with any advancements that could affect your career in the near or distant future.

2) Network

Networking has long been a good way to future proof your job. It isn’t rocket science. Basically, by staying in touch with various people in your field, you give yourself a better chance of succeeding in your current job as well as opening up opportunities for the future. 

One of the most traditional yet still effective ways of networking is to participate in different corporate events. These events can be a great way for you to position yourself in the industry and know other players in the business arena, as well. 

If you’re leaning towards this direction, make sure to exert time and effort to look at your best because your appearance will surely create a lasting impression with these people. Although it can be nerve-wracking, muster your confidence to engage in conversations with other participants. Get to know them, their business, and the industry they work for. 

The connections you will make through these events can become your ticket to land a job and build a stable career. 

And for those who detest the idea of putting themselves out there and shaking countless hands in awkward events and meetings, social media has made it easier than ever to keep networking without having to put yourself on the spot. 

Perhaps the most popular social network for professionals is Linked-In. You can send a connection request to relevant people in your industry and even send personal messages to keep in touch. Linked-In is also a fantastic way to receive information about your industry. By following key players and thought leaders, you will see various articles in your newsfeed which could help you to stay informed. 

And, by sharing some articles and information yourself, you open up the chance for dialogue with other people in your industry and eventually help you become a networking pro. Other social networking sites are of course available and the one you choose will depend on a variety of factors. Networks like Facebook can be great for networking in a less formal capacity, but just make sure you keep a certain level of professionalism in the content you share if you choose this channel.

3) Stay tech-savvy

One of the biggest contributing factors to our rapidly changing world is technology. Modern technology and Information Technology, in particular, has revolutionised so many different industries as well as the way we live our lives, and it will continue to do so in the future. IT is now a part of virtually every job and will become more and more embedded in the workplace as it continues to evolve. Keeping up with and understanding IT is, therefore, a fantastic way to ensure that you and your job remain relevant in the future. 

But don’t worry, you don’t have to give up your job and head back to university full time in order to be qualified to deal with IT. Whether it’s getting an online associate degree in Information Technology or simply getting some on the job training, you can arm yourself with the knowledge and information to cope with technological advancements on a gradual and manageable basis.

Aside from using it as a platform to learn new knowledge and skills, technology can also help you look for a job and know more about a specific company. 

You can easily type in your query online so you’ll know about the requirements of a particular job, and how your dream company operates. Access to all of this information will help you determine what information you should place on your resume and how you can ace the interview with the recruiter. 

4) Focus on sustainability

It’s no secret that we’re facing a global climate crisis. The thing needs to change drastically over the next few years if our planet has any hope of survival. It is, therefore, safe to assume that the future will be bright for those working in the sustainability sector. Whether it’s working in off-shore winds or designing electric cars, jobs, and qualifications that focus on environmental sustainability will serve you well over the next few decades.

However, You don’t necessarily have to change your job or career completely in order to achieve this. Simply having the knowledge and understanding can be just as powerful. Becoming more sustainable is not only essential to our planet’s survival, but it’s also pretty good PR for companies these days. And as a result, many businesses and employers want to find a way to make environmental sustainability a key part of their operations and marketing output. For example, if you work as a Project Manager in construction, you could open up future promotions and job opportunities by becoming an expert in sustainability. Or, as an Operations Manager for a global recruitment company, you could find ways to reduce costs and improve public relations by cutting down your company’s carbon footprint.

Conclusion

We can’t 100% predict what the future may hold. Some jobs may be obsolete in ten years’ time whilst others may still be just as important. Future-proofing your career isn’t necessarily about changing jobs or carving out an entirely different career path. In fact, the best thing you can do is arm yourself with the right information to adapt as technologies and social attitudes change. 

Whether it’s getting additional IT and sustainability qualifications or simply reading up about your industry and networking on a regular basis, it’s all about having the knowledge to make informed career choices as the business world continues to evolve.