If you haven’t noticed already, our world moves fast. There are always new things to learn and industry changes to keep on top of in order to remain relevant in an ever-evolving workforce.
Simon Lusty, the Managing Director of Aquent Australia, says that talent who are going to be in the most demand in the future are those who are centered on ‘upward growth.’
“This concept is focused on one’s ability to take responsibility for continually improving their skills, knowledge and capability. People who ‘own’ this are constantly trying to better themselves – regardless of how experienced they are.”
Whether you stay in the same role for decades or change jobs regularly, if you want a career that’s going to stand the test of time, now’s the time to cultivate it. Here are some tangible tips to future-proof your career, and ensure its survival.
- Diversify your skills. What you learned through initial tertiary education may not be enough to satisfy the direction you, or the industry you’re working in is taking. If certain skills are in demand, and some skills you possess are no longer required, be willing to reeducate yourself and get up-to-speed with new tools and technology so you’re marketable for new positions. Consider joining an industry body, attending talks and seminars, or undertaking further study to achieve this.
- Say yes to new opportunities. It doesn’t matter whether it’s job offers, event participation, mentor programs, niche presentations, volunteer work, or requests for advice - throughout your career, you’ll be presented with new opportunities, challenging you to make hard decisions. Being open and adaptable will allow you to absorb new skills and make you a desirable candidate for future employers. Lusty advises to start reinventing yourself today. “Work on yourself as a project. It’s very confronting,” he says.
- Work for meaning and fulfillment. While fair remuneration is important, you won’t achieve career longevity if you’re doing it for the money. Instead, if you’re working for the purpose of learning and experiencing new things, your job – and your life – will be more meaningful and fulfilling. Moreover, when you enjoy what you do, there’s a better chance of succeeding in the long-term.
- Understand the industry you work in. Everything that happens in your industry will likely impact the organization you work for, as well as your role. For example, if you’re a graphic designer and there are changes made to the Adobe Suite, you’ll need to adapt to be able to use the latest version to your advantage. When you’re across industry changes and updates, you’re able to better prepare yourself and be a competitive player in the market. Try subscribing to industry-related publications and attending seminars run by leading experts.
- Put energy into your online brand. Lusty says, “As we move on this journey, it will become increasingly common that you will no longer look for jobs, that jobs will look for you – and if that is the case, how does your online brand sell and differentiate you against the others?” Ensure your online profiles reflect how you want to be perceived by your professional network, including Facebook, Twitter and your SEEK Profile.
- Create your network. To build on your skills and knowledge, everyone needs a network of skilled professionals, both like-minded and different to you, who you can efficiently share information with. Don’t wait for these people to fall into your lap – do an online people search, reach out to strangers, start a professional meet-up or simply invite individuals to have a coffee with you to discuss the industry you both work in.
Finally, Lusty says, “Come the year 2020 we will all still be here. But will you be present, relevant and in demand? Well, that all depends on whether or not you act NOW.”
About the Author
As Managing Director for Aquent Australia (incorporating Firebrand Talent and Vitamin T), I take responsibility for the future growth of all three brands across the region.
I joined Aquent in 2002 and even though I've had many years of experience in recruitment, I continue to be passionate about how this industry evolves and changes everyday. Our core area of specializtion – Digital, Creative and Marketing – is very much at the forefront of this evolution.
Working closely with our customers is my passion, whether it's helping clients to navigate a great hire or helping Talent find an awesome new opportunity. Seeing our business grow signals to me that we are continuing to help more people connect in great ways.