Life at Deloitte

Future-proofing your career

When we think about the future, it is often met with a healthy dose of uncertainty, especially given today’s demographic, economic, and technological changes. As automation technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics continue to play an important role in our everyday lives, concerns about future job security and career stability have left many professionals feeling uneasy about the future of work.

July 12, 2018

Our evolving careers

Within the past decade, many jobs have faded from existence, giving rise to new and innovative careers. Professions like telephone operators have become obsolete or nonexistent. Still, technological shifts have also given rise to occupations that didn’t exist a decade ago. According to this Deloitte Insights' Forces of change: The future of work, technological advancements “may allow more good jobs to be created as work begins to leverage the essential human qualities of social and critical skills.”

These findings underscore the importance of planning for the future, which can be critical to the long-term success of your career. Here are a few things that can help you to future-proof your career.

Adopt a culture of continuous learning

Innovation and learning go hand in hand. Innovations in educational technology make ongoing learning and professional development easy and accessible. Massive open online courses offered by education companies all offer online learning courses that help professionals learn new skills, software, and concepts. The courses vary in length and depth and provide a good foundation for future learning. 

Stay on top of new trends

Virtually all industries are being disrupted by the rise of digital technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), automation, and chatbots. Keeping abreast of these innovations may give you a sharp edge over your competition and could help you to stand out from your peers. Subscribing to thought leadership pieces, industry insights, and content relevant to your career and industry can help you to stay on top of these new trends and provide valuable insights as you navigate your career. 

Be open to change

Change is inevitable. As cliché as it may seem, it’s true. For many, adjusting to change can be daunting and challenging at the same time. But keeping an open mind and being aware that things are constantly changing can help you to adapt and cope. The need to be responsive and adaptive is increasingly important, and change often brings with it opportunity. Look at ways you can benefit from changes that are happening in your industry.

Evaluate your current skills and experience

Assess the value of your experience and unique skill set and see how those skills translate to future changes in your industry. If you identify gaps in your skills, look at ways to learn new skills or enhance your skill set. Be flexible and open to learning skills that can allow you to move between sectors. Also, consider the importance of soft skills. As jobs evolve, soft skills will likely play an even more critical role in career success. When thinking about the future of work, Heather Stockton, Deloitte’s Global Future of Work Leader, advises professionals to consider the “essential human skills such as problem-solving, creativity, project management, listening, and moral and ethical decision making.” 

Exciting times ahead

Although the future holds a lot of uncertainty, thinking forward and engaging in continuous learning, can help you to stay abreast of new trends and changes. This new career landscape will require people and technology to work hand in hand, by focusing on bringing a new level of imagination and creativity, your career will not only evolve—it will thrive.

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