With the world of work changing at an ever-increasing rate, learning how to future proof your career has never been more important. Many roles are becoming extinct, being replaced by technology while brand new roles are popping up every day.
Economists have predicted that over the next two decades, the jobs least likely to be taken over by technology are those that involve creativity, highly developed social skills and problem solving.
And the types of skills and capabilities being highly sort after in the workplace are also changing.
Where in the past soft skills where consider somewhat 2nd rate today they are being applauded as the skills critical for the 21st Century high performer.
This is particularly good news for women.
Many of the commonly considered feminine leadership traits including; communication, creativity, project management, enthusiasm for learning, critical thinking, team work, empathy and global citizenship are just some of the key skills and attribute required to future proof your career.
This is not just a theory. I’ve seen it play out with the professional women I work with.
Susan recently secured a role on the Senior Leadership Team of a large global business following a corporate restructure. It was her ability to focus on delivering the strategic goals and work collaboratively to solve complex problems while also demonstrating her skills to build a highly effective and engaged team that helped her step confidently into this promotion.
Unfortunately her promotion was at the expense of a guy who had not moved with the times. He remained committed to an older style of leadership and relying on his past results to keep him in the role.
His past results were not enough and his leadership style had become outdated leaving his skill set somewhat irrelevant in the future of this service centric business.
So ladies… it looks like our time is now!
The world of work is changing and it’s time for us to step up confidently and accept the challenge of 21st Century leadership.
But let’s make sure you are focusing your time, energy and resources in the right areas to future proof your career.
Here’s how to future proof is your career?
1. Embrace change. Change is the only constant we can rely on! There is no point fighting it or trying to stand in its way. It is here to stay and will only get faster and more significant.
Start by looking at how you can position yourself to take full advantage of changes occurring in your organisation or industry. Look upon change as an opportunity for growth rather than fearing the shift in status quo.
Your ability to be flexible and take full advantage of change will be the difference between being left behind and using it as an opportunity to accelerate your career progression.
2. Become a life long learner. Marshall Goldsmiths iconic leadership book “What got you here won’t get your there” has never been more relevant. You can not rely on your past results to take you to the next phase of your career.
Continued education is all about ensuring you remain relevant.
Given that the prized skills of the 21st Century are those we once labeled soft skills – I’m a massive advocate for programs that support self awareness and personal development as a foundation for professional growth.
3. Prioritise relationships. I know you are busy – but making time to build your professional network is important!
I’m currently working with a senior leader who was recently made redundant. She is a talented, highly skilled professional but it’s unlikely that her skills will to be her greatest asset in her quest to secure her next ideal role. It’s the breadth and depth of her professional network that will get her exposure to the most interesting roles.
Within 24 hours of receiving the news about her redundancy, she had received countless phone calls and messages of support and offers of introductions.
Her career opportunities are looking bright with this army of supporters and long term professional connections on the lookout for her.
4. Articulate your value. You are a smart, capable professional and your career matters to you… but who other than you really knows the value of your contribution?
I asked a room of professional women last week to share with the group what their greatest skills and talents were. Almost all began to squirm and expressed how uncomfortable they were to talk about themselves.
Ladies, it’s time we got past this. Being humble is a virtue …but it’s also holding us back.
To future proof your career you must learn to confidently articulate your value and how you have contributed to the strategy, results, bringing together a high performing team, negotiating outcomes, sales and everything else you do.
You can no longer hope that your good work will speak for it’s self. You must be speaking for it.
Which of these tips will you be focusing on to future proof your career?
The world of work is changing rapidly and opportunities abound for those who are ready. But if you are not… you could very easily find yourself irrelevant and without a clear career pathway forward.
Want some help to future proof your career?
The Leadership Connection is an exclusive 6 month transformational group program designed to support professional women to take the next step in their career.
No more going it alone. No more working in isolation. No more leaving your professional development up to chance.