Finance Work How to future proof your career in the digital age

How to future proof your career in the digital age

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Technology is moving at a cracking pace, swallowing up careers in its path. In what is dubbed “the digital disruption”, once stable occupations have been tossed aside by the rapid evolution of technology.

So how can you avoid the endangered job list? Your profession may not be at risk now, but it’s important to know how your skills can stay relevant and in demand.

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Travel agents, newspaper reporters and postal delivery workers will all be casualties of today’s tech-based job market, a report by job listings site CareerCast claims. Farmers, meter readers and printing workers are also among the jobs with low projected career growth.

By future proofing your career, experts say it’s possible to keep in step with the changing job market.

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Never stop learning

Learning, whether it be on the job or in your own time, is the key to staying relevant, says recruitment entrepreneur Sarina Russo.

“To future proof your job never stop learning, be passionate, think differently, deliver with speed and urgency,” she says.

“Exceed the expectations, act with integrity and above all, be customer focused.”

Top new skills include social media marketing, mobile development and cloud computing, according to an analysis by LinkedIn of the skills and employment history of its more than 259 members.

Seek new opportunities

The digital era may have left many occupations by the wayside, but it has also created exciting new prospects, says career coach Kate James.

“There are new careers popping up all the time – digital strategist, social media manager, Zumba teacher,” she says.

Today’s information age has paved the way for more business owners to enter the global market. Take advantage of these conditions and explore the possibility of using your skills to start your own business, Ms James advises.

“Entrepreneurship is on the rise in the US and we’re seeing that here too,” she says.

“It’s a lot easier now to start your own business really quickly and attract a global customer-base.”

Embrace change

Change is nothing new to the job landscape. New technology has taken over jobs such as the milkman and typist in decades gone by.

Ms Russo says to be adaptable to change so you won’t get left behind.

“The workplace is changing, so embrace disruption and prepare for change,” she says.

“See disruption as an opportunity to build your career rather than something to be feared and avoided. It’s how you embrace the uncertainty which governs your future.”



Invest in new vocational skills to move your career onwards and upwards. Expanding your skillset not only makes you a more attractive job candidate, but also opens new avenues for career development.

If you suspect your job is under threat, be proactive about gaining new skills, Ms James recommends.

“Don’t wait until the writing’s on the wall,” she says.

“You have to look at what the existing needs in the job market are and work out how to move with the times.

“How can you use your skills in line with technology? And how can you upskill and diversify?”

Stay connected

A study by PwC called Adapt to Survive found 90 per cent of employers use social recruitment tools such as LinkedIn to find new staff.

Click on the owl to see how LinkedIn can boost your job prospects  

By having an online professional presence, employees can showcase their skills and experience to potential new employers.

And with 79 per cent of HR leaders saying online professional networks had been positive for business, the power of online networking is evident.

It also helps engage with others for inspiration and ensures you keep up to date with industry changes.


Red more on survival of the digital age in A World Gone Social by Ted Coine and Mark Babbitt. Buy it here.

a-world-gone-socialThe Social Revolution's impact on the business world cannot be over-estimated. Like the meteor that likely precipitated the end of the dinosaurs, Social is the catalyst in an extinction event--and business as we know it has changed forever.
 A World Gone Social offers an eye-opening look at fundamental and powerful changes the social collaboration era has set in motion.



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