Does your future job even exist?

Researchers estimate that 85% of the jobs available in 2030 don’t yet exist. With the jobs market changing so rapidly, having your heart set on a particular job could close off paths that could be equally or even more rewarding.

But what can you do about making sure you’re in prime position for a job that doesn’t even exist yet?

The key is to be constantly scanning the landscape and anticipating that two year horizon, assessing the skills, knowledge, experience and personal characteristics you are going to need to keep your momentum and growth to ensure you stay relevant, responsive and marketable in the changing workplace. (Take a look at my other blog on agile career paths for more on this topic.)

Take retail as an example. You might work on a shop floor now, but have an interest in buying, marketing or even recruitment. That head office job could offer a springboard to work for different companies in senior roles, eventually earning you a seat on a company board or giving you the skills and knowledge to set up your own retail business.

But what if gaining that knowledge could open up doors for you to take on a role in a social enterprise empowering disadvantaged groups to gain visibility in the workplace, or facilitate a freelance career that lets you work on your own terms?

Sideways is as good as up

Having hard and fast goals can be inspiring, but also consider sideways moves that could lead you in a completely different direction or can help you to achieve your longer term goals in a different way.

It can also be helpful to think of your career in terms of the different skills, experiences and specialisms you want or the kind of problems you want to solve rather than a job title as this will help you have a more flexible approach to those new challenges and different job roles.

If you need to add to your abilities, volunteering or mentoring others can be great ways to grow your skill set, your experience and your employability.

Is it really possible to plan?

Putting your agile career path onto paper is difficult as it needs to be flexible and change with you as you grow and develop and as you have different experiences/ make new choices.

When it comes to setting goals, it’s important to understand what will work for you. Some people are very visual, and vision boards can be extremely useful. For those who crave detail, a step by step plan can keep you on track. Some people are happy to have a vague outline in their minds while others like to keep a to do list.

Putting your thoughts and ideas onto paper or discussing them with a coach can help you gain a balance of focus on your future goals and exploration of new and different options as they arise.

An approach I use successfully with my clients is to look at lots of different options to keep adding new skills and experience to their portfolio, seeing their career as lots of mini projects – doing this helps ensure you are renewing and refreshing your offer by constantly learning and adapting.

To help you figure out how to get to where you want to go, look at the successful people in the field you want to work in and find out about their career journeys – nowadays you are unlikely to find two paths that are exactly the same.

You may be surprised by the paths the people you identify have taken, which in turn can help keep you open to opportunities. Some successful people will tell you they have never had any plan and that all their career has been about their responsiveness to opportunities as they arise so having a balance of both seems a pragmatic yet adaptable solution.

If you are keen to create a more agile career and want the support of an expert, or just a neutral sounding board, give me a call to book a free chemistry session.

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