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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4 thoughts on “Future-Proof Your Career”

    1. Carly, there are many ways to do so. When you think of ways that others have made you feel special by the actions they took as opposed to perhaps actions they took to make you feel strange or alienated. This could be the difference between over the edge as Joan’s referring to it here. Several years ago at our Annual Conference an assistant had several food allergies and they didn’t have anything prepared for her ahead. When discovering the allergies the staff at the hotel made a special plate to offer the assistant, they learned she went back to her room for a bit and sent the plate with the Floor Captain to apologize and deliver the meal. They thought they were delivering over the edge service but the assistant being a female, alone in her room and upset about the lunch situation felt unsafe in this scenario and refused the food. Had they been thinking about how the person on the other end would have felt about the extra service they may have recognized that she would have felt safer if a female delivered the lunch or if they offered her a dining certificate to use at her convenience when she was done resting. When we put ourselves in the others shoes we may have more insight into what would work best for them when providing them with superior service.

    1. Are you looking for someone locally or willing to work with someone virtually? There are many options out there and many different styles. Do you want someone who is certified in coaching or has a lot of experience and certification isn’t a necessity?

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