5 Strategies to Future-Proof Your Career
Updated: Jun 13, 2020
What will your job look like a year from now? Or even 3 months from now? Is a layoff just as possible as a promotion? Will your skills be relevant? With the tsunami of change in the job market, your career may seem caught in a wave of uncertainty.
An intentional focus is essential to navigating these career currents successfully. The average person today changes jobs at least seven times before retiring, and four of these moves will be involuntary. Strategic preparation enables you to ride through these changing tides with agility and be top of mind for opportunities.
Remember MacGyver? He always seemed to be equipped with a spare piece of wire or a roll of tape that just happened to be in his back pocket. MacGyver's ingenuity and tools catapulted him through seemingly impossible missions. Being a career “MacGyver” positions you as the in-demand answer for the needs of the job market. Here are five strategies for becoming that sought-out expert in your field:
Know your brand.
A brand is much more than the Target red bullseye or a Nike swoosh. Your personal brand is the unique identity and value that you bring to the table. Your brand is comprised of WHO you are, WHAT you do, and the VALUE you bring to those you serve. When you are clear about your key strengths and how they benefit others, you become a magnet for opportunities. A compelling brand conveys confidence in the results that you provide. You’ll land the types of jobs you want, and in the cultures you’re looking for, much more easily when you know and live your personal brand.
Create your Vision
What do you want your career to look like five years from now? Defining a clear picture of where you want to be creates the roadmap for getting there. Craft your vision by getting specific about what your future role looks like, even down to the daily tasks, the type of company you work for, and your weekly schedule. Are you managing a team and inspiring growth or are you providing strategic business analysis? Are you working remotely or sitting in a corner office? Defining the details of your vision puts in motion the motivation and momentum to make it happen. With the vision in view, build career capital by investing in the skills, character and relationships that will turn your vision into a reality.
Look for ways to share insights or create solutions. Career agility is about seeing needs and providing solutions. It could be as simple as posting tips on Linkedin or as involved as developing a proposal to streamline processes. Send an email with an article you found relevant. Regularly communicate with peers, executives, and thought-leaders to share resources and ideas. When you consistently provide value, you become known as a go-to resource in that arena.
Adapt to change.
Moving your career forward is rarely ever a straight line. Rather, success comes by leveraging challenges into springboard opportunities. When you experience a downtown, take a step back and look for the untapped potential. Notice how you respond to change. Do you view it as a threat or as a doorway to new possibilities? Approach change with curiosity. What do you see as the biggest pain points in your industry right now? These needs are your opportunity to step into the gap with your strengths and provide a solution.
Master your mindset.
The volatility of the job market can cause white knuckles at times. You may wonder what your paycheck is going to look like a few months from now. However, your internal narrative dictates your story. If you are telling yourself, “The prospects are slim and it’s going to be difficult to move up,” guess what you will find? If you want to shift the outcome, change what you are telling yourself. The foundation of career success is believing that you have the internal resources to succeed and that opportunities are abundant. When you believe that you are enough, you won’t be caught in the storm, you will be riding the wave.
These strategies can take your career from drifting to intentional navigation. If you would like to create a strategic plan for propelling your career, set up a free consultation HERE.