As I mentioned in my last post, futureproofing is now a core competency of successful career activism for one simple reason: In today’s workplace, there is only one certainty – tomorrow will be different from today.
We’re now seeing more change more frequently than at any other time in the past 100 years or more. And that change is increasingly disruptive … to our jobs, occupational fields, industries and, as a consequence, our careers.
How do you implement futureproofing so that it works for you? It’s a five step process that should be repeated twice a year:
Step 1: Conduct an environmental scan. What are the major trends in five areas: your career field, industry, employer, job and hometown? In the past, collecting such information efficiently would have been impossible; in today’s wired world, it’s as easy as sitting at your computer.
Step 2: Determine the slope of each trend. Are the trends in each area moving in a positive or negative direction in terms of their potential impact on your career? And, do the trends seem to be moving slower, faster or about the same as they were in your last environmental scan?
Step 3: Balance the positives and negatives. Assess the cumulative impact of all of the trends in your career field, industry, employer, job and hometown. Pinpoint the opportunities that could advance your career AND the challenges that could threaten it.
Step 4: Conduct a reality check. Test your assessment of the opportunities and challenges with a mentor or trusted colleague. Their crystal ball isn’t any better than yours, but it always helps to be looking at issues with two sets of eyes. Then, revise your conclusions as appropriate.
Step 5: Be a Career Activist. Career Activism isn’t a spectator sport. Determine what you can and should do to leverage the opportunities to your career’s benefit and to insulate it from any threats posed by the challenges. Then, take the appropriate actions.
Clearly, there’s more to each of those steps, but even this basic outline will enable you to get started. And that’s the key: Futureproofing only works if you work at it. And, in today’s unpredictable workplace, it’s worth the effort.
Thanks for reading,