Future-proofing your career has become a concern for everyone in the digital age. If you haven’t given this topic any thought, it is time to start asking yourself if your job will still be relevant in 10 or even five years.
These questions are arising due to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. If you are still unsure of what it is, we’ve got you covered. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is the era where technology has started to take over; it is building and extending on digitisation in ways that we have never seen before. An excellent example of this is artificial intelligence, and we will never know what to expect.
To make sure that you will still be able to use your skills legitimately in years to come, we have compiled some tips on how to future-proof your career.
Assess your current situation
Ask yourself a fundamental question – are you happy in your current job? If you are, then you will do whatever it takes to stay in this job for as long as possible, meaning that your future is in your hands. If you are not happy, it is time to start looking for something you will be happy with and are passionate about. Fast Company mentions a quote from Darren Raycroft that sums it up: “A very simple litmus test is: If you’re comfortable, you should start learning something new.”
By assessing your current job situation, you should be able to determine if your career has the potential to grow in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and if it can, what can you do now to ensure that the growth takes place? If you don’t see a spot for your current passion in the digital age, start looking towards what else interests you or how you can develop this skill. Keep these notes and be prepared for the future. Have a “Plan B” in case your “Plan A” doesn’t work out for you.
Imagine what it would feel like to suddenly be retrenched and not be able to find a job in the sector you’re used to and have experience in? Being prepared will prevent this from happening. With this in mind, keep your CV updated at all times; this counts as being prepared as well.
A great suggestion is to remain tech-savvy. This tip coincides with lifelong learning; the goal is to keep teaching yourself or to keep learning from others when you’re unsure about something.
With almost everything slowly but surely seeking efficiency through digital, and with technology adapting quickly, we need to keep on top of what’s going on in the digital world. It is essential to stay current in your career.
Businesses are going to start including technology into their strategies, which means that those job roles will be changing as well. If you want to keep your job, you will have to keep up with the times and upskill. Being proactive is always good and is an excellent way to show your boss that you value your career; learn things that won’t only benefit you and your future, but that of your company as well. If you show initiative and can make more money for your company, they won’t want to let you go.
Networking is important
Networking with people in your professional world or even your own network means that you’re building relationships with the people around you. The more people you know and have a relationship with, the better chance you have when you are looking for a new job or opportunity. People prefer to surround themselves with others they trust.
Fast Company suggests that we should never stop networking and use the time when we’re settled in our careers to get to know others. Relationships take a long time to build, especially in the professional sector; so, trying to network after you have quit your job is not going to work in your favour.
A great tip is to not only look at getting to know people in positions higher than yours. Get to know interns and people on different pay grades, as you never know where they are headed. We cannot predict the future; you never know what could happen, but you could prepare by building bases for yourself.
Be open to new techniques and attitudes by focusing globally, not just locally. Learning a new language and building your work experience with people from different cultures and countries will only make you more attractive to companies.
Don’t stop learning
To grow personally and in your career, lifelong learning is a crucial skill. To make sure that your job is future-proofed, lifelong learning is inevitable. Forbes interviewed executives on the Fourth Industrial Revolution and found that many of them are not that interested in what degree you have, but rather in creating a space where their employees are always learning and growing. Not only will this benefit the employees personally, but it will eventually benefit the company as a whole. If this is your routine, then you will fit into these forward-thinking companies a lot easier.
If you are continuously learning, you’re creating new habits for yourself, which means that if you are forced to learn new things when the time comes, it won’t be such a shock to you.
Many people like to be comfortable, especially when it comes to their careers. If you want to ensure that you are a fit, you have to learn to dance on a moving floor. We all crave stability, but you can still have a stable base to work from if things around you are constantly changing.
Forbes makes an interesting point which suggests that change is the new normal, the lack of stability does not only come from the company’s side but from the employee’s side as well. ‘Job hopping’ has become standard; as soon as employees realise that they’re not happy, they change jobs. This behaviour creates a lack of stability in companies as well. As this is the new normal, companies had to adjust the way they are running their businesses.
No matter how much you prepare and how much you have accepted that change is inevitable, you need to develop some resilience, as life won’t always go according to plan or in your favour.
Start thinking about your future
With the Fourth Industrial Revolution upon us, change is inevitable, and digital is on the rise. It is vital that you start future-proofing your career before it is too late. Assess your current job to see if you will still be able to make money this way in five years, network with those around you, keep learning, and accept that the world is changing all the time – and you will be fine!