As a coach and learning consultant I feel a huge sense of excitement about the future possibilities for work and careers. Yes, the world is changing at an extremely fast pace, technology is continually evolving and a job for life is no longer a reality. To keep pace, we will all need to be adaptable, open to change and willing to continually learn to keep our skills relevant to market demand. For many of us this can be a scary prospect, but if like me you are driven by growth, making a positive difference and fulfilling your potential, the uncertainty of change is far outweighed by the prospective opportunities the future promises to bring. And for those of you seeking work/life balance and flexible working arrangements whilst growing a successful career, your talents, skills and ability to add value to an organisation will be valuable currency. As research expert Josh Bersin describes “the idea of a “job”, with all it’s protected artifacts like a job title, and job description, is starting to go away. What is its replacement? People being hired “to do work”, get a project done, lead a team, and be ready to move on as the business needs change”.
It can’t be long before we see the “Uberisation” of the job market. So what can you do to position yourself for success and happiness in the future world of work?
1. Know what is most important to you?
Getting clear on what you want from work and your career is a great starting point. These days many of us place more importance on purpose and meaning in our jobs than financial reward, and a number of studies have shown that a growing percentage of the workforce is seeking personal growth and work/life balance in favour of salary or job title. Do you now what matters most to you? If not, then take the time to think about what you value most. Having a clear sense of what matters most is essential if you are to be a happy and effective worker both now and in future
2.Know where you can make the greatest impact
Do you know what you do best? We all have areas of natural talent that can be developed into strengths. Our talents are like our superpowers, they provide our greatest opportunity for growth, development and delivering outstanding performance. Knowing what you do best and where you can make the greatest impact will help you to stand out in the marketplace. If you are unsure, I’d recommend using an assessment like StrengthsFinderÒ, to help you discover your innate talents.
3.Get creative, think outside the box!
As you create your career vision for the future, get creative! Don’t restrict your options to traditional roles that exist today. You might like to consider a portfolio career where you hold multiple roles – this may include part-time, freelance and/or temporary work. Portfolio careers are not only on the rise, but they are a great way to achieve flexibility and career growth whilst making a positive impact. So ask yourself who could benefit from your personal superpowers?
4.Stay connected and grow your network
People need people and this is unlikely to change. Technology will continue to evolve, organisational talent needs will shift, and we will doubtlessly see a continuing move towards more virtual working. But through all of this our ability to build and draw on trusting relationships will remain of paramount importance. Nurture your existing connections (you never know when an opportunity to add value to somebody in your network may arise!), and take intentional steps to grow your network and build connections in industries and organisations that excite and engage you.
5.Learning is gold!
Remaining competitive and setting yourself up for future success, requires an appetite for growth and continual learning. There are many great resources available online these days, check out some of the MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and learning offerings on sites like the edX or the Khan Academy. Make sure you take control of your career development and put a plan in place to help your skills remain cutting edge.
The future is bright, what is your vision and how will you make it a reality?
Kathryn is a founding FlexCoach who enjoys partnering with clients to help them realize their career and life goals. Connect with Kathryn by viewing her profile.