Let’s face it, job security disappeared years ago, and the reality is you can be madly in love with your job and have no plans to change careers, but factors such as market trends (e.g., Will your job exist in 10 years?) and even sickness can derail your plans for longevity. So whether you’re an entrepreneur or employee, everyone should future-proof their careers. Future proofing your career boils down to making a lifelong commitment to invest in your intellectual capital—a combination of your knowledge, relationships, and systems that can be used for some other moneymaking opportunities. Plus, it’s an opportunity to create generational wealth for your family.
Four Ways to Future-Proof Your Career
Make professional and personal development a priority – If you’re an employee, professional development is not your employer’s responsibility; it’s yours. In addition to the performance goals set by your company, you should have at least two goals that relate to expanding your knowledge and experience beyond your comfort zone. And take note, from books and conferences such as the Entrepreneurs Summit to virtual networking and wealth-building programs such as The Black Business School learning extends beyond the traditional college or corporate education program.
Develop cross-functional skills or business knowledge – For instance, if you work as a lawyer, a cross-functional skill could be teaching, writing thought leadership articles, coaching, or counseling. If you work as a construction worker, you might consider opportunities in designing, plumbing, investing in rehab properties, or teaching DIY home improvement workshops online and offline.
Build and maintain relationships – When it comes to networking, many people make the mistake of waiting until they are desperate for a new job or opportunity to start developing professional relationships outside of their work environment. This is a big mistake because professional relationships take time to develop. From meetups to professional organizations and Facebook groups, make relationship building a weekly habit.
Read books and articles – Reportedly, many successful people such as Mark Cuban and Oprah Winfrey credit reading as a key component of their success. Beyond fiction and non-fiction books, follow your industry trends and challenge yourself to read books and news outside of your immediate interest. To develop a reading habit, set 30 – 45-minute reading sessions or join audible to listen to audiobooks on your way to work or during your morning routine.
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