How do you future proof your career?

It’s a big topic at the moment. Do you know how to stay relevant? Do you know what you need to do to make sure that you can remain employable and searchable to recruiters? During this blog, I’ll give you some ideas that might help you “Future Proof your career”. At the recent PMI EMEA Conference in Dublin, Ireland, Agata said something which really resonated with me:

“Your career is a jungle gym, not a ladder” – Agata Czopek

This sentence itself has really made me think about how I approach my career. On Projectmanagement.com I have recently published an article on how to plan the next stage of your career, but in this blog post I wanted to go through what happens after this point.

The most important thing to realise in the current employment market is that you cannot remain still or static with your current knowledge and experience. I’ve spoken in a few blog posts about: Your personal toolbox. A toolbox of skills, experiences and knowledge that you have that makes you unique against your counterparts. How do you remain relevant?

  1. Self reflection: Look at what your weaknesses are and look at where you/your organisation might be going in the coming year(s). This step is so individual to each person that the answer and direction will determine how you move forward.
  2. Invest in yourself: When was the last time that you invested in yourself? This could be with trainings, personal development or coaching. I would strongly recommend that you look at the best investment for yourself and then capitalise on this. in your career plan.
    1. Mentoring: If you’re a member of a PMI Chapter, you can look at getting a mentor through your chapter. You can also ask your organisation if they have a mentoring scheme available to you.
    2. Trainings: You can do this within your yearly development plan. You can always make sure that you have aligned
  3. Understand your worth: One thing that a lot of Project Managers struggle with is the estimation of their value and worth. This is not just as a Project Manager but as an asset of an organisation.
  4. A life long learning event: The important thing about careers is that they have become a life long learning event. You cannot settle or rest on your current abilities.
  5. Challenge your skillset: Are you an agile whizz? or do you excel at waterfall implementations? Why not, challenge yourself to look at different approaches and methodologies?
  6. Understand the value of your network:
    1. Use social media consciously. I like to use the guide: Would my mum like to see this post? If she wouldn’t, then I think twice about posting it!
    2. Network effectively: Do not accept everyone in your network but also learn who is an appropriate influencer that could help your career or networking.
    3. Talk!: Talk to those in your network to learn about new career opportunities but also talk about the developments that may be happening in your area/industry etc. In a recent conference, I spent an entire lunch talking and networking with like-minded individuals about the development opportunities that we were all doing to give each other ideas that we might not have thought of.

Knowing how to future proof your career is more than just knowing where you want to go. You need to realise and understand the full potential that exists in front of you and more importantly taking ownership for the direction that you want to go.

Are you the owner of your career? or are you just a passive participant to a career journey?

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