3 steps to future-proof your career prospects & stay relevant

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Landing a job successfully in an evolving jobs market requires you to have a current and demonstrable understanding of many broader business challenges so you can future proof your career and remain relevant to potential employers.

With the Australian workforce having experienced a large amount of change in recent years which in turn has forced businesses to adapt both their commercial and talent strategies, so  future-proofing your career will help you stay ahead of these changing business needs, create opportunities and prepare you for a lasting professional journey.

High calibre talent is literally transforming businesses across a range of industries and influencing key stakeholders to deliver significant competitive advantage and remain relevant no matter the changing nature of the market. 

Here are three steps you can take to future proof your career prospects:

Step 1: Use digital channels to craft your personal brand

In today's digital age, chances are you have one or more social media accounts - Facebook and/or Instagram, and hopefully, as an active candidate, a professional channel. Before you commence any new job search, our advice here is simple; optimise your professional channels - such as LinkedIn or Twitter - and clean up your social media presence, leveraging the power of AI for a more refined approach.

Optimising your LinkedIn profile is one of the most important things you can do as part of your job search. It is an easy and effective way to connect with potential employers and start building your personal brand. If you are going to be positioning and marketing yourself as an expert in your field, but have no visible online presence, you could be selling yourself short in a competitive market.

LinkedIn and Twitter are both credible platforms that showcase not only your education and career highlights, but they can also showcase relevant conversations you are having and position you as a leader in your space through sharing industry news and making insightful commentary.

Never forget, though, that your public conversations with friends, family (and possibly enemies) can be easily viewed by recruitment consultants and potential employers with a quick Google search.

If you use social media as a form of communication, ensure the information you are sharing is positive in an online world. It might seem obvious, but things you shouldn’t be sharing include: embarrassing pics (nudity, drunkenness), inappropriate comments (swearing, arguing, ranting), and privileged information (NDAs, client news, personal data, workplace info) to name a few.

Remember: “what goes on social stays on social,” so it's best not to use it as a platform to discuss things you may regret later. Again, AI tools can help you monitor and maintain a clean digital footprint.

Step 2: Having the edge - what employers want

1. Curiosity

Beyond the obvious relevant skills and aptitude required to be successful in your role, our clients are looking for talent that demonstrates genuine curiosity. Why? Because the nature of this world is fast-paced and evolving quickly.

If you’re not demonstrating a genuine curiosity, you’ll get left behind.

Businesses, especially those that are going through transformation or have a strong digital footprint, want people working in their teams who are willing to be agile and keep up to date with trends and technology.

If you haven't regularly developed or updated your skills, or you’re transitioning into a different role/industry, do your homework and understand the basics so you can be adept with the trends in that space and what skills are required to be successful into the future. Make this an absolute priority before you start your resume refresh.

2. Understanding

Even if you are highly active in your field, staying updated on industry trends and market conditions, it is crucial to demonstrate to potential employers that you understand the specific challenges their business faces and why you are the right solution.

Not only should you showcase your understanding of these challenges, but also highlight how you creatively solved and executed initiatives to address similar issues for organizations and their customers in your past or current role. This tangible demonstration of your problem-solving skills can have a powerful impact.

While using industry jargon to describe your accomplishments may impress your current or future employer, it is essential to explain why your approach was the best and what measurable outcomes you achieved. By clarifying these elements, you not only prepare yourself to articulate them concisely, but you also provide clarity on the direct impact you had on results.

3. Multi-faceted skills

The need for T-shaped professionals is on the rise. As businesses continue to prioritise digital  transformation in an omni-channel environment, the array of skills and knowledge-based solutions required from teams expands.

At the recruitment level, T-shaped talent is appealing for businesses because they have a basic understanding of multiple disciplines, while at the same time being a clear specialist in one or two key areas. As an example having a broad understanding of the digital, sales and even marketing mix enables teams to have more agile and responsive discussions internally and outside the business.

So, think about all the know how you have and isolate that from your specific areas of expertise. This doesn't mean you become a ‘generalist’. Far from it. T-shaped professionals are characterised by their ability to be “adaptive innovators”. Showing you have the capacity to stretch across ideas and add value to a team can give you that edge; just remember to back your skills up with tangible proof-points.

Step 3: Create a point of difference - stand out from the pack

Working in this constantly shifting environment not only requires you to have the right skills, but an understanding of the external landscape. Whatever your career highlight to date has been, prospective employers want to hear about the specifics of what YOU did, the outcomes you achieved and how that relates to the current challenges and opportunities their business has.

Capabilities are continuously evolving for people forging their career, so approach your job search by articulating how you can differentiate yourself from others, your signature strengths and specific examples you can bring to the table that showcase your up-to-date thinking.

Looking for new job opportunities? Search our available jobs or get in touch with one of our specialist consultants today for a confidential discussion and career advice.

Contact the team