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Future proof your career. How to stay relevant in the changing world of work.

Future proof your career. How to stay relevant in the changing world of work.

 

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His past results were not enough and his leadership style had become outdated leaving his skill set somewhat irrelevant in the future of this service centric business.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 bookWhat 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.

Click here for more information and to apply for your invitation to join the group.

LET'S CONNECT

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Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

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Building Resilience To Thrive During Times Of Stress And Pressure At Work

Building Resilience To Thrive During Times Of Stress And Pressure At Work

Resilience is a pre-requisite for surviving the fast paced, demanding and ever changing work environment.  In our modern world of highly stressful roles, where the pressure to perform is relentless and the resources are diminishing, we need to be equipped to ride out the difficult times and bounce back from setbacks. 

To be resilient means having the capacity to respond to the day to day pressures of our job and the demands of our daily life.

It means responding to change in a calm, optimistic manner.  It’s the ability to absorb the hard knocks, dust yourself off and keep going when the going gets tough.  It is being able to remain confident and maintain your self belief in the face of perceived failure. 

Having resilience creates security in a constantly changing world. 

At work, people with lower levels of resilience tend to become disengaged, unproductive and struggle with low self esteem during periods of pressure, stress and change.  They are more prone to illness and emotional distress often resulting in time off work.

Some years ago I experienced first hand the effects of diminished resilience.  As is so very common in the ever changing corporate environment, I found myself in the midst of a corporate take over.  Everything about my working environment and my role changed… and I didn’t cope with it very well. 

I failed to see the opportunities in the change or to focus on what I could control or influence.  I felt overwhelmed and angry and my confidence in my abilities plummeted.

Worst of all, my health suffered. I was living in a fog, with a constant feeling like I was onto my third glass of bubbles.  At first that might sound entertaining… but it was exhausting, to the point of requiring time off work and medical investigations to diagnose the cause of my strange symptoms (and rule out some frightening possibilities).

This experience made me wonder, is it possible to boost our resilience? 

The good news is – YES we can learn to boost our ability to cope, thrive and flourish in the face of adversity. 

The ability to cope with pressure, challenging times and uncertainty relies on developing particular thought patterns, attitudes and skills.

What I needed all those years ago wasn’t medical intervention.  What I needed was to look at my situation in a different way.  To take back the control of my career and to take action on what I could influence rather than worry over what I could not change.  

Add in plenty of sleep, exercise and healthy eating and all my symptoms disappeared almost overnight.

So if you want to boost your own inherent resilience to maximise your ability to bounce back, here’s what I would suggest.

1.  Accept change as part of life.  Resisting change is fruitless and tiring.  We need to not only accept change but also expect it to happen and then look for the opportunities that open up when it does.  Develop the habit of seeing each challenge as a catalyst for acquiring or mastering new skills and experiences. 

2.  Avoid making a drama out of your stresses and pressures.  Stress, pressure and uncertainty are all part of life.  The events of your life are not what shape you. It is how you choose to respond that has the biggest impact.    

3.  Choose optimism and take positive action.  Positive people are more resilient than those who are not.  Choose to focus on what is going well in your life and at work rather than the challenges, disappointments and setbacks. 

We are hard-wired as part of our survival instinct to pay more attention to the negative… but it is possible to switch your thoughts to see the opportunities that are available in almost every situation. 

4.  Look at the bigger picture.  Let go of your preoccupation with the pressures and deadlines you have directly in front of you and look at the bigger picture for your life and your career. Focusing on your longer term goals can add perspective to your situation. 

5.  Prioritise your health and wellbeing.  Your ability to deliver results at work is influenced by everything you do… including managing your physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. 

When you are tired and run down you can not give your best whether it is in meetings, staying productive and engaged or being present for your team members when they need your help.  Taking care of YOU is the foundation to building your resilience and your ability to handle whatever comes your way.

By learning to become more resilient you can bring a new power, direction and energy to your career.  By adopting a sense of optimism, focusing on what you can influence and taking care of your health and wellbeing, you can achieve greater success at work and find greater enjoyment in your life. 

 

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
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Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

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