I find it interesting how every year the conversation on the prediction of job growth is followed with such fervour. While I understand the eagerness to predict employment prospects, I am unable to discount the volatility of our environment and the precarious ledge on which all such predictions rest.
In the highly interdependent world that we live in, a September 11, a Tsunami, volcanic ash and even locusts have the ability to overnight disrupt the grand plans and predictions we may have put in place. The disruption could even come from positive events such as technological advances that shift the way an entire industry functions, case in point being the impact of Skype and Whatsapp on the communications industry.
The response to this, of course, cannot be to stop planning or predicting but rather future proofing one’s career (not job) in a manner that deals with the interconnected volatility, uncertainty and disruptive potential of progress. So, under the circumstances, how do we shift the way we think about careers? What ideas do we need to be mindful of if we want to future proof our career?
My work on LeaderSHIFT assumes that the shift in mental models is the bedrock of any change that we wish to embrace. The mountains we have to move are often more in our consciousness. In this case, it is important to remember that a skill set does not make our career future proof as much as our approach to it: What we learn and how we learn and our capacity for resilience and our entrepreneurial mindset.
If I was to identify a powerful common thread between the three suggestions, it would be networks – professional as well are personal. The diversity of our networks helps us learn and grow, while a good network allows us to rise from the fall that we must all inevitably take at some point in our career. The people and opportunity connection also happens best through networks. It is for this reason that when it comes to future proofing your career, your network can well be your net worth!
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