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Future proofing your career

Future-Proofing Your Career: An Important Step You Should Take

With all of the recent headlines about artificial intelligence replacing more and more jobs, a lot of people are thinking about how to future-proof their careers. And while we probably can’t stop the robots from coming, there are steps we can take to stay current.

How to Future Proof Your Career

A strategy I suggest to my leadership coaching clients is to attend a professional conference or workshop every year. Although it may be challenging to take the time and spend the money, doing so is an investment in your career. For myself, I find that attending a professional coaching conference sparks my enthusiasm as I learn new coaching trends and get recharged by the amazing professionals in my field.

A conference I attended earlier this year was the Career Thought Leaders Symposium: Envision the Future of Work, in San Diego. This was one of the best conferences I’ve ever attended. One of my favorite presentations was from Petra Zink, a Personal Branding and Digital Strategist who came all the way from Australia to share her strategies on future-proofing one’s career path by establishing yourself as a Trusted Authority.

Zink identified three key components to shift from your being seen as a technical expert to being viewed as a trusted authority: capability, credibility, and visibility. There are questions you can ask and steps you can take for each of these components.

  1. Capability. Do you feel you have the expertise needed to make an impact in your career? Are you productive and do you get the results you want? If not, what is one short-term and one long-term goal on which you could focus? It could be obtaining a certification in technical skills, working on your soft skills, finding a mentor, or getting involved in a professional organization.
  2. Credibility. What is your present career reputation? What would you like it to be? Your reputation is the combination of the attributes that describe you and the impact you make in your career, and it can either be career-enhancing or career- limiting. What is one small step you can take to be more focused on your reputation? Do you need to re-define your brand? What about soliciting feedback from colleagues?
  3. Visibility. Do you stand out in your organization and industry in an authentic way? Is your LinkedIn profile up-to-date? Do you engage with others on that platform (or whatever social media platform is right for your profession and industry)? Are you connecting regularly with people, not just when you are looking for potential employers? If you aren’t, one step you could take is to make a connection plan, listing individuals with whom you want to stay in touch and how many times you want to connect with them during the year.

Trust is generated at every touch point during the day and how you show up at meetings and follow up with colleagues, customers, and stakeholders. Future proofing your career means standing out as a Trusted Authority which means a focus on boosting your capability, credibility, and visibility.


Beth Benatti Kennedy is a PathWise advisor and leadership coach based in Massachusetts.

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