As we approach the mid-point of 2019, it is a popular time for people to reflect on their lives, both personal and professional. In terms of your professional life, many people tend to assess their current work situation and how it is preparing them for the next step in their career. If you want to best prepare yourself for the future and remain a valuable asset to any organization, there are some things you can do to “future-proof” your career.

In an article for TechRepublic, SAP Vice President of Workforce Adoption says there are five ways employees can future-proof your career and be ready for the ever-changing work environment.

Learn On the Fly

When you go through the motions every day at work, it becomes easy to do the minimum required and not go beyond the call to action. If you find yourself in this situation, you need to break out as soon as you can! According to Brown, “learning on the fly is what keeps you agile.” Regardless of your career level, being adaptable is a key skill to develop. You can never learn “too much” information or key skills throughout your career. The more you learn, the more you can contribute to your organization. Author Ken Blanchard put it best, “When you stop learning, you stop growing.”

Be Open

Many people, including myself, are averse to change. Once we find that comfort zone, we do all that we can to stay in it. However, as the saying goes, “life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” To fully grow, we must embrace change and be open to it. “Successful people are open to change, opportunities, ideas and understanding,” said Brown.

What does this mean? Take on a new role either inside or outside the organization. Take a class on a new subject. Learn a new skill. Find what makes you uncomfortable and face it head on. Who knows what you might experience.

Build a Diverse Network

In case you’re new here, networking does not stop once you get a job. In fact, it is quite the opposite. You should be constantly networking throughout the course of your career. This doesn’t mean just with people within your industry. Instead, you should build a diverse network spanning multiple industries. In doing so, you can make connections that open the door to new opportunities you previously did not consider.

Be Greedy About Experiences

It is easy to get caught up in your own thoughts when assigned a task you deem menial, but you must change this mindset. Rather, take every assignment and project as a learning experience and one to better yourself. Each opportunity is one that can teach you lessons to apply to other aspects of work and your life.

Bounce Forward

Being afraid of failure will get you nowhere fast. Instead of seeing failure as a detriment, learn to use it as a learning experience. When you’re constantly worrying about making a mistake, chances are you will end up making it. Once you recognize that failure happens to everyone, you will be able to “bounce forward” and learn from the adversity. Just as a .300 hitter in baseball can make the Hall of Fame, you too can reach the pinnacle of your career by learning from failure.

Wrap Up

Regardless of whether you’re a senior level executive or an entry level career professional, you are likely planning for the future. In order to ensure your future success and prove your worth to your company, there are some things that you should incorporate into your life to “future-proof” yourself for whatever lies ahead in your career journey.

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