A long time ago, in some simpler times, one person could expect to spend an entire career from the first employment to retirement in the same position.
Things have changed quite a lot in the meantime so these days an average American can expect to change approximately 12 job positions before getting to the finish line, with median tenure lasting no more than 4.3 years.
So, trying to envision where you are going to be in 10-15 years is really no longer possible. What you can do instead is to future-proof your career and make sure you are able to deal with these transitions like a pro. Let us take a couple of tips that should help you along the way.
Adopt the Mindset of Lifelong Learning
Essentially, you need to realize that a college degree doesn’t make the end of your education but only its starting point. The present-day business world is too volatile and unpredictable to put your trust into a single degree to keep your career fueled for an indefinite period.
Instead, use these foundations to build upon and, if necessary, branch out. Of course, all these efforts need to be planned out so identify your weaknesses, make a strategy of how you are going to develop these lacking skills, and constantly seek new opportunities to learn. Ideally, you should do that by taking on new responsibilities and new job roles.
Start Building Your Professional Brand
As we could see in the introduction, putting all of your efforts into advancing within one company doesn’t necessarily guarantee success. While this should remain one of your main goals, you should also start independently developing your professional brand and putting it out on the web.
To do this, you can use the same methods as if running a company – create a professionally-looking website, put out your portfolio, start building a presence on social media and build your professional network. And why not – if you feel like it, you can even start a blog where you will demonstrate your expertise.
Be Open to New Opportunities
The recent pandemic of COVID-19 demonstrated to all of us that no business sectors are too big to fail or experience recession. With that in mind, you should strongly avoid putting all of your proverbial career eggs in one basket and keep all options on the table.
As a matter of fact, you can even start actively setting up contingencies for the eventual hardships ahead. For example, the real estate industry has demonstrated tremendous staying power in spite of all economic difficulties. So, enrolling in a real estate traineeship could give you a deposit you can chip in if your native industry experiences difficulties.
Take a Crack at the Global Labor Market
The modern economy is highly globalized with remote working, hybrid positions and outsourcing virtually erasing the national borders. You should observe the labor market in the same vein. Therefore, you shouldn’t hesitate from putting yourself on the global board and accepting foreign gigs.
So, what can you do to make this transition easier? Well, start by researching your native industry and finding its global strongholds. Once you identify the possible places of future employment, try learning more about the local language, customs, business landscape, and all other things you may find useful in the future.
Keep Up with the Trends in Your Industry
Last but not least, we would like to remind you that knowing the future of your industry can help you to fill in any eventual skill, tech, or knowledge gaps in your biography and prepare yourself for the changes that might come along.
If you are, for instance, working in the construction industry, you can easily make yourself a hot candidate in the future labor market by researching technologies like IoT, VR, AR, Cloud, and machine learning. The business world, in general, is currently going through the process of digital transformation – you should do your best to stay ahead of this curve instead of playing a catch-up game.
These five strategies are far from a complete story but they should give you a pretty good idea about the moves you will need to take to future-proof your career and make yourself adaptable to the present-day labor market.
The most important thing to realize is that, no matter how your industry may look at this very moment, no positions or even business sectors have a guaranteed future. So, while you should always try to give your 100% at your current job it should be very wise to start building contingencies for the situations when things may start going downhill. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Written by Mike Johnston