Future-Proof Your Career

Future-proof refers to the ability of something to continue to be of value into the distant future; that the item does not become obsolete. So, I want to know what are you doing to prevent yourself from becoming obsolete? What investments are you making in yourself and your education that will ensure you continue to be of value into the distant future? How are you challenging yourself and expanding your mind? What skill sets are growing?

Whether you are planning to work one more year, three years or ten years, you need to assess the actions you are taking today to continue to be of value to your executive and your employer. I’m always amazed when I meet someone in the workplace and I ask them what their goals are for the next year or I talk to them about expanding their skill sets and they say to me, “I plan to coast until I retire. I’m just fine the way I am.” I think to myself, “How are you so sure everything is going to stay the same until you retire three or four years from now?” Nothing stays the same, whether it is in your personal life or professional life. No one can afford to rest on their laurels in today’s world.

To future-proof your career:

1.       Be committed to life-long growth.

2.       Be curious. Ask questions. And then, ask more questions.

3.       Assess your strengths and areas for growth.

4.       Write a plan for personal development.

5.       Get honest feedback from your executive, peers, and co-workers.

6.       Stay abreast of what is going on in your profession.

7.       Always have a fallback plan.

8.       Demonstrate leadership at work.

9.       Every day, think about how you can add value.

10.     Seek and listen to mentors.

11.     Hire a career coach.

12.     Give over-the-edge customer service to internal and external customers.

“We have to choose between two risks: First we can gamble on our old habits and watch our career skills gradually grow obsolete. Or we can accept the risks of the pioneer; the inventor; the explorer. The greater safety lies in choosing this second risk, even though it feels chancier than the first.” – Price Pritchett

Joan Burge


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