Worrying About Job Security? Here’s How to Future-Proof Your Career

2023 was a challenging year for many, particularly for some 240,000 tech workers who lost coveted roles from big tech companies like Google, Microsoft, Meta, and Amazon. Given the massive layoffs that happened, it’s understandable why a lot of people are experiencing job insecurity this early in the year.

Why Do Lay-Offs Happen?

Layoffs happen for various reasons. A lot of the time, companies lay off a sizable portion of their workforce in response to market disruptions, typically due to economic turmoil, industry shifts, or unexpected global events, such as military conflicts or a global pandemic. 

In 2023, we saw hundreds of AI tools released, which paved the way for automation and rendered a lot of entry-level jobs obsolete. Local workers also competed with offshore counterparts as gig economies continue to flourish in this globalized economy. 

All this has resulted in dynamic job markets ripe for disruption. Unfortunately, drastic changes sometimes lead to instability, which has worsened fears of job insecurity. 

There’s no real way to alleviate these fears, as these layoffs are caused by factors that are typically out of an employee’s control. But what we can do is to keep our ears on the ground, and proactively prepare ourselves for the ever-changing job landscape.

How To Future-Proof Your Career

The times are changing, and so should we, if we want to not just survive, but thrive. The good thing is if you’ve been following my tips about acquiring transferable skills so far, you won’t need to start from scratch. Here are three specific skills that you should acquire to remain in demand as a worker today and for the foreseeable future. 

Be A Lifelong Learner 

No job is going to last forever, so it’s critical to adopt a lifelong learning mindset. I’m not necessarily talking about jumping from one industry to another (although this can be the best path in some cases).

Instead, I advise you to keep your eyes peeled about industry trends. Always be on the lookout for new developments in your space, and ensure that you’re always ahead of the curve when it comes to new technology and practices. 

This way you can both do better in your current role while also positioning yourself as an adaptable worker who can help the organization weather any market disruption. 

Have Willingness To Change Careers 

Sometimes, it will make sense to change careers. Whether due to shifts in personal interests, industry trends, or a desire for new challenges, changing careers can be a strategic move.

If you do decide to pivot, there will be new challenges you will have to overcome. From my own career when I transitioned from management consulting to recruitment, I took a 20% pay cut so I could finally break into my target industry. But I knew that the pay cut would only be temporary because my skills and experience in HR would eventually grow. And after a few years in HR, I then took the leap to go all in on my own career coaching & training company, Workhap, and have no regrets!

I would encourage you to keep the bigger picture in mind when you are looking to make a big career change. Are you willing to take a step back to move 3 steps further in the future? If yes, it means you are ready to take that leap.

Network To Build Genuine Relationships

The ability to build, nurture, and leverage your professional network is one of the most critical skills needed to succeed in any industry. The best piece of advice I can give is to take the time to join industry-specific groups, attend conferences, and participate in online platforms to stay connected with peers and leaders in your field. 

What I want you to concentrate on is building genuine and meaningful connections. Networking is not just about collecting business cards or LinkedIn connections, it’s about nurturing relationships based on mutual respect and shared interests. 

Networking is also very useful when it comes to observing trends and trying to stay ahead of the curve. As you engage with more people, the more opportunities for you to get exposed to the bleeding edge of your industry. This allows you access to opportunities that would not have been available to you if you weren’t part of the group. 

No matter where you are in your career right now, there’s always room for improvement. You always reap what you sow, so make sure to keep an eye out for the latest trends, never stop learning new things, and continue building your network. The work you put in today will pay dividends tomorrow. Rooting for you!

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