If the pandemic of 2020 has taught us anything, its that we live in a world where change can happen when we least expect it. At the start of the pandemic, many of us went from traditional office-based working to home working. Organisations found themselves testing the strength of their IT tools and all of us became more IT dependant than ever before.
For many, this was also a time when people started to pivot their careers to ensure they remained relevant in a changing world. Knowing how to futureproof your career is an essential part of developing a career plan.
We all know that the world of work we live in today is subject to constant change. Being able to adapt and change to the needs of your organisation or sector are key to creating a futureproof career.
Below are my 4 top tips to help you futureproof your career
Develop your network
A great way to start to futureproof your career is to begin by building a network of people around you who can help you maintain and even build your career. In the event that you find yourself out of a job following sudden changes in your organisation or sector, having a strong network of people you can turn is crucial.
The best way to create a valuable network is to start by connecting with relevant people before you need them. Some of the people you may want to connect with might be people within your sector or organisation. Others might be people outside of both these areas but who might be able to give you valuable insights into a sector you are hoping to join.
There are two main ways to build your network. The first is online and the second is offline.
Online networking takes place mainly on professional social media platforms such as LinkedIn
Offline networking on the other hand, will usually take place in person. If you belong to professional bodies, they often host a number of events which you can attend and meet people in person.
Make sure you are adding value
If your plan is to build your career within your current organisation, in order to futureproof your career, its important make sure you are seen to be adding value. This means, you need to be seen to be adding value over and above your usual activities.
One of the ways in which you can do so is by finding opportunities to either work shadow senior colleagues within your organisation or, ask to attend senior management meeting. If you are given the opportunity to attend management meetings, this will ensure you are visible to colleagues across the organisation with whom you might otherwise not have contact.
Another way of ensuring you are visible and adding value is to ask or volunteer to be part of organisation wide projects. In doing so, you will have the opportunity to stand out as someone who is able to lead, be a team player and be creative. These are all valuable qualities that are needed at all levels within organisations, particularly if you have plans to move forward into a senior management position.
Journal your accomplishment
Another great way to ensure you can futureproof your career is to ensure that you keep track of your accomplishments. So often we work hard to deliver under pressure in a variety of work situations and owing to the fast pace in which we operate, we to forget what we have achieved.
If you work in an organisation where the opportunity to sit down as part of an end of year review takes place, this can be an excellent way of capturing your achievements over the previous year.
In addition to capturing your achievements as part of a performance discussion, it is advisable to keep a record of key highlights of what you have achieved over a given period of time.
The advantage of keeping a journal is that you can refer to it when you are preparing for an end of year review or when you are applying for a new job.
An additional benefit of journaling is that it is a great way of building your confidence when it comes to looking back over your career to see some of the wonderful things you have achieved.
Find a career coach
Gone are the days when we were clear about our career direction and often found that we stayed in the same career or organisation for most of our lives. The world of work has evolved such that having a career plan should be seen as an essential part of anyone in the world of work today.
For some they are clear about their next career path but for others they might benefit from the support and guidance of a career coach. Working with a career coach can help you futureproof your career.
The career coach can guide you through the options open you when it comes to planning the next stage of your career journey and support you in the development of a career plan which can be adapted to help you overcome any future career challenges you might meet along the way.
If you are not sure what a career coach is or how they might be able to help you move your career forward, my article on the top benefits of working with a career coach might help you decide if its time to consider working with one.
Yvonne Akinmodun is a HR and career expert with 20+ years’ experience. She is the founder and CEO of careercoachingmatters, a site dedicated to helping people solve their own career problems. Do you have questions about your career? Click here to book a FREE consultation session