Gloucester Advocate

Five ways to future-proof your career

Five ways to future-proof your career

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We've all seen the film Terminator, the embodiment of that secret terror that many of us have, where robots will overturn humanity and we will be left fighting for our lives.

Now maybe that's a little unlikely, but as technology continues to evolve and advance, many jobs can now be done by a computer. So how do you stop yourself from becoming a technological casualty?

Today, we'll talk you through all the things you can do to future-proof your career, and prove yourself indispensable, so that there will always be work to be done and you'll never have to worry about a Terminator-esque future...or simply losing your job.

1. Develop new skill sets

For many of us, the natural progression of life is school, university, work, or at least some variation of this formula.

Education becomes a means to an end, a way to get yourself onto your chosen career path.

However, with digitalisation trends on the rise, it's time to use education to your advantage. Enrolling in short or online courses can be a great way to upskill and build skills that can be valuable in a range of industries, rather than simply your chosen career path.

For instance, you could choose to enrol in a software engineering course, as this particular skill has proven itself to be highly sought after in a variety of industries.

Another great course for building up your CV is a managerial or leadership development programme, so that you can start presenting yourself as a genuine candidate for managerial roles. The way you choose to expand your knowledge and which direction you seek to grow in is entirely up to you.

We do recommend that you plan out your learning journey in accordance with your career goals, however, just to make sure that you're wasting no time or resources.

2. Change is inevitable - so don't try to fight it

People can often be initially unreceptive or perhaps even wary of change.

After all, it's natural that when things are comfortable to wish for them to stay as they are. But, as we've seen over the past few years, change can happen at any time and without warning.

With this in mind, it's the adaptable employees that will likely keep their jobs in the face of large-scale industrial changes, and we have definitely observed this over the past few years of lockdown already.

Being able to maintain your focus when working remotely, and adapting to whatever additional changes were brought about by the pandemic rather than being stringent in your old ways, naturally made people more confident and competent employees.

It's likely that as digital transformation continues, adaptability will keep on being perceived as a highly attractive quality in any employment candidates.

Modern professionals who are looking to future-proof their CVs should ideally start every day with an open mind and take each and every industry change as an opportunity to improve their technological skills.

It should go without saying that in today's world, digital literacy skills are an increasingly essential element in any modern professional's toolkit, so go forth, adapt, learn and thrive.

3. Become a people person

When looking into ways to ensure you have a career in the future, you may not have thought that being a "people person" was one of them.

But, this falls under the category of soft skills, which are something that will truly always be required, regardless of what industry you may find yourself in.

Some examples of soft skills in the workplace include a good work ethic, the ability to show leadership and a strong sense of empathy.

These sorts of skills are not measurable by academics but improve work-life exponentially, which also generally leads to higher productivity as well.

Workplaces with bad culture and a lack of empathetic leadership can lead to employees feeling rundown, as well as that organisation experiencing a lower than average work output.

If you have these kinds of skills as a manager or even as a team member, then you will likely become indispensable to that workplace.

4. Network, network, and network

Have you ever heard the phrase, "it's not what you know, it's who you know"?

Well, to an extent, this can honestly be true! Whilst it's incredibly important to have a wealth of knowledge in your field, networking, and knowing the right people can absolutely assist you in the future when it comes to finding ideal employment opportunities.

Much like having good soft skills in the workplace, having a strong network is absolutely essential for anybody hoping to cultivate a strong career that consists of a variety of professional experiences.

But how do you network? And arguably more importantly, how do you grow a strong network when you work full-time?

Take full advantage of any networking events or other opportunities that come your way, and do your best to maintain positive relationships with each and every single person that comes through your office space, be they fellow employees, clients, or even friends and family.

If you're able to make a consistently positive and amiable impression on everyone you meet, then chances are high that your name will be the first that people think of when they're looking for a professional in your field.

5. Don't limit yourself to your home town

For some people, their home is where they see themselves for the rest of their lives.

This is a natural feeling, as it's where our family, friends, and all that is familiar to us can be found.

That being said, if you limit yourself professionally to opportunities that can be found locally, you are cutting out a major chunk of possible work.

If you expand your viewpoint to interstate, or even overseas and are able to take opportunities as they come, you are likely to never be without a job for a long period of time.

Expanding your horizons will do wonders for your career and may even lead to a more fulfilling line of work or a more complex and challenging professional role in the long term.

Today, we are less likely to start a role and stay in it for multiple decades.

More than ever people are jumping ship and have two, three, or even four careers throughout their lives, so being able to grow your skills and adapt to change well will definitely put you on the path to success.

You can help kickstart your own professional future-proofing journey, however, by following the tips and tricks we've outlined above.