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6 Ways to Future-proof Your Job

Source | LinkedIn : By Shelly Palmer

About two months ago, a long-standing business acquaintance of mine learned that my company had created a series of data literacy training courses. He called me and asked if we offered them for individuals (we didn’t; at the time we only offered our programs to companies). When I asked him why he was interested in data literacy, he said, “Data is all anyone is talking about. I don’t know anything about it at all. I thought you guys would be a good place to start.”

In some cases, this would have been a totally reasonable exchange – a mid-level executive seeking continuing professional education. But in this case, the man’s title was SVP Marketing. I say “was” because he just updated his LinkedIn profile. Not surprisingly, after three years at his present job, this 18-year corporate marketing veteran is looking for work. Sadly, he is unemployable. While he’s under 40 and looks like a Millennial, he has been “inside” too long and lacks the skills to be competitive in this job market.

So, in his honor, here are six things he could have done to future-proof his job:

1 – Don’t Think of Your Job as a Job

The U.S. Bureau of Labor reports that Baby Boomers are averaging 11.7 jobs from age 18 to 48. That’s an average of 2.5 years per job. (Millennials are likely to switch jobs every two years or even more often.) At those time scales, you should not think of your job as a job, you should think of it as a project. Which means not only should you think of your boss as a client, you should think of yourself as a consultant engaged to solve a specific problem. If you think of your full-time job as just one of your projects (you can and should have other projects, as we shall soon discuss), you are going to be well on your way to future-proofing your income.

2 – Inject Yourself into the Process

Be a student of the world you live in. What’s new? What’s next for your business? Are you in a growth industry? Is your company likely to be the best in its class? If you got promoted, could you do your boss’s job? Would you be better than your boss because you have more competitive, more productive skills? The best way to answer these questions is to inject yourself into the process. Pretend you run the whole company. What would you read every day? Whom would you speak with? What would you discuss? Seek out people who do what you want to be doing and get into their groups. Social networking tools are perfect for this. Use them.

Read On…

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