This is the second (and final) part of the Future-Proof Your Career Series. In the first part I talk about how to recognise and protect your career’s greatest asset. Now, on to the other two tips:
Release Your Innate Ability to Adapt and Innovate
I remember being at a conference once, and a business leader whose company traded in petroleum products was asked what he would do if people stopped needing petroleum products. He replied that he would start selling the new things that replaced the petroleum products.
This is the mindset that will thrive in any situation.
Even though some things will remain the same, many things will change and new situations will become the order of the day. You need to be prepared to adapt to a new normal and be willing to try new things.
Adapting to change is not easy for every person; some people find it easier than others. However, even though it may not be easy and it may take time, it is possible. Remember, human beings have the innate ability to adapt to new situations if we work it. Not only can we adapt to new circumstances, we have the inherent creativity to innovate and make the best of the situation.
Adapting is not that big of a deal, actually. When you think about it, you have been adapting to new situations your whole life. You probably adjusted to a new sibling, a new school, new friends, new neighbours, marriage, parenthood, new jobs, new businesses, new regulations, new departments, new bosses, new wealth, you name it. It usually starts with some inconvenience, discomfort or even fear, but eventually, it starts becoming normal. Remember, for instance, how we all adjusted to working from home in the last few weeks of the pandemic stay-at-home period.
You may need to learn new skills and ways of doing things in order to add value to the new world of work. But then, you weren’t born with all your current skills and competencies. You learned everything. When you’re faced with a new situation, draw from the common things that your new circumstances share with your old one and start from there. Remember, you can do it. You have what it takes.
Revamp Your Problem-Solving Skills
As long as humans (and other living beings) exist on the earth, there will always be problems that need solving and needs to be met. This phenomenon will continue, whether we’re staying at home or back in our working and living communities. This will never change.
Thus, there will always be a need for people to solve problems by creating solutions. This means that there will be opportunities to use your strengths to solve problems in areas that interest you. It’s been said that another word for problem is opportunity.
The problems/opportunities in the future may be different from what we are used to, but they will be there. A new world or industry situation would possibly present newer challenges that need to be solved and this is where you come in. You only need to adapt and innovate as quickly as possible.
To become a problem-solver, you’ll need to stay in the flow of information. Read widely, but study narrowly. It’s important to read widely because many parts of human society are interconnected and some solutions can be transferred from one industry to another. However, you will still need to focus on the area that carries the challenge you need to solve.
Human needs are diverse and they come in different forms: spiritual, physical, emotional, mental, financial, social, recreational, and many more. The needs of the human race could be tangible or intangible. We need food, health, security, technology, beauty, justice, style, fun, information, education, motivation, empowerment, communication and much more. Additionally, remember that just as an individual person has certain needs, families, corporations and nations also have different needs.
In creating solutions, please prepare to be strategic – figuring out the fastest, cheapest, easiest and most ethical way of meeting a need and solving a problem.
Situating your strategic solution within a problem/opportunity will make you a problem solver. And as long as you’re solving a problem for an organisation, other individuals, the community or the global society, you can have a successful career and thrive through any situation in the future.
So remember, to future-proof your career:
- Recognise and protect your career’s greatest asset,
- Release your innate ability to adapt and innovate, and
- Revamp your problem-solving skill
I hope this helps you to prepare for thriving success in the future of work, whatever that future may be.
Stay strong, you are!