We really don’t know what the future holds. It’s difficult to ignore the World of work is changing at an alarming pace. How do you future-proof your career with so much uncertainty?

Few would have predicted the demise of Woolworth, Blockbusters, Kodak, Lehman Brothers, BHS (to name a few..) and now the giant construction company Carillion.

It’s lead to many of us questioning our future.  With most UK workers having to work longer, pension pots inadequate to fund our lifestyles, no surprise it’s a concern.

Contributing factors:

  • Political landscape (Regulation and Legislation)
  • Economy (Growth and downturns)
  • Technological advances
  • Environmental concerns
  • Demographics (Ageing population for example)

So, how do you future-proof your career and protect against unpredictable uncertainties?

Network Regularly

If you’re a regular reader of my blogs you’ll know I’m a big advocate for networking. If you are currently working you should be networking internally with your manager, colleagues and customers (internal and external).

If you’re unemployed continue to network with your ex-colleagues and managers. Get out and meet people who can help you with your career goals and aspirations.

Today we also have the advantage of networking on social media. So, ensure you are creating your personal brand across all your social accounts, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

What are the benefits? The key to effective networking should be mutually beneficial. Meet with people that will enhance your career, improve your knowledge and keep up to date with current trends in your sector.

Networking is part of your Continuous Development Plan (CDP) throughout the duration of your career. Don’t just pick up with people when you need their support.

Be prepared to put in some time, effort and a little groundwork prior to looking for a new job or even starting a business before you ask for that “favour” or ask for a recommendation on LinkedIn.

Invest in your Training, Development and Learning

The most important part of any career is personal and professional training and development. Commitment to personal and professional growth, learning and development is an ongoing and continuous process. It’s not called “continuous” for nothing!

Keeping your skills up to date is incredibly important. If you get complacent it’s likely you’ll get left behind in this rapidly changing work environment.

If you’ve been shying away from technology, again this is now very risky to your future worth to employers. Companies are seeking out smarter, faster and leaner ways of working. Keep tech savvy!

Research & Keep up to date

Attend Employment Fairs (even if you’re not looking for a job), attend seminars and breakfast updates, conferences and business conventions.

These events are a fantastic way to network with relevant businesses and people in your sector and a great way of staying up to date with current trends and projects.

Stay tuned to the aspects that are impacting the World of Work, Political Landscape, Economy, Environmental, Demographics and Technology.

Keep a Success Journal

This is particularly important to maintain throughout the year for several good reasons. Keeping track of your successes will be highly beneficial for your annual appraisal. This is particularly useful if you have set objectives with your manager.

Keeping a record of your achievements will help you when you start attending interviews. You’ll have specific examples to share with the recruiters and hiring managers. Use the S.T.A.R model to document the detail.

It’s surprising how many people do not have a “bank” of specific examples. It’s far more difficult to rely on memory and definitely not a good idea to leave it until the interview.

Recruiters, in particular, will be gathering very specific evidence (information and data) during the interview. If you haven’t prepared it’s likely to be a casual chat with very little effective information. Do your homework and prepare some specific examples.

Keep your CV and LinkedIn Profile up to date

A lot of people make the mistake of leaving their CV and LinkedIn profile dormant. That’s not great when things are changing so very quickly.

LinkedIn is particularly good for all of the above – researching and keeping up to date with the current climate and networking and engaging with experts in your sector.

Join in with conversations online and join relevant groups, follow companies of interest and get involved.

You can (discreetly) let recruiters know you are open to other opportunities on LinkedIn.

Here’s how to let Recruiters know you are looking:

1. Click on the Job icon.
2. Update career interests
3. Switch on “Let recruiters know you’re open.”

LinkedIn cannot guarantee your boss won’t know but they make every effort to protect your privacy.

It’s more important than ever before to think longer term about protecting your future career prospects.  Don’t leave it too late to be employable.