No one knows what the future holds — but there are ways to keep yourself safe no matter what comes. This is especially true regarding your career. Many careers carry much more risk than others, and investing in certain types of training can open opportunities for work and income. This is often regardless of the behavior of the economy or the state of your industry. So, how do you go about future-proofing your career? Here are a few tips from career experts.
Learning should be a lifelong endeavor. Studies show that curiosity is closely correlated with career progression and financial gain. Those who feed their curiosity are continuously in the process of increasing their knowledge and skill. Greater and more diverse proficiency is always an advantage in your career. This allows you to perform better in your current tasks and thus makes you more appealing to potential employers.
There are many ways to improve your knowledge and skill. From engaging with social media to enrolling in advanced degree programs. Generally, you want to find a source of education that balances convenience with effectiveness. Especially when it comes to information you expect to use throughout the course of your career. For example, you might enroll in business management courses if your career objective is to function at the highest levels of business leadership. More formal forms of education also tend to be valuable when you are looking to gain skills. Especially those that are not immediately applicable to your current career path. For example, information technology or healthcare administration. However, you can utilize more casual sources of information, like blog posts or podcasts to update your existing knowledge and skill set.
In the 21st century, there is no career path that does not benefit from technological skill and experience. What’s more, tech professionals are in high demand. Therefore, developing and maintaining a certain level of tech-savviness will provide opportunities in IT should your current career go south. You should try to stay up-to-date on the latest technologies, practicing any skills that are increasing in value. Some foundational tech skills you might pursue today include web and app programming, data science and analytics, and technical writing and reporting.
Some employers have a reputation for investing in their employees. They provide ample access to career development resources like training, mentorship programs, tuition assistance, and more. These organizations, sometimes called ‘academies’ for their commitment to learning, are some of the best places to work. Especially early in your career when you are looking to absorb as much information as possible. Some of the best academies include:
Hard skills tend to be linked with specific career paths, but soft skills are adaptable and widely sought-after. Soft skills involve any abilities that allow you to interact more effectively with those around you. In the workplace, the most important soft skill is communication. You might also benefit by developing your time management skills, your creative problem-solving skills, and your team-working skills. Many professionals find it difficult to develop their soft skills. Furthermore, many believe that these abilities are innate — but with time and attention, you can improve. To help you progress, you might ask trusted coworkers for feedback on your performance. Or, keep a journal of your interactions and activities.
Use the strategies above to help with future-proofing your career for the digital age.