Future Proofing Careers

by | March 2020


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“What’s good today, won’t be good enough in the future” said Wesfarmers’ MS, Rob Scott in an interviewLet's talk about future proofing your career.

The same can be said for career development; it’s no longer good enough to solely focus on skill development for current and future jobs. Leaders must create cultures of curiosity about upcoming trends in their organisations and industries. Organisations need a more open understanding of what skills and knowledge are required for the future, even if specific job descriptions aren’t defined. Organisations that aren’t engaging in these change-readiness conversations with their workforce will fail. Consider the once iconic Myer which “cannot be saved” according to its departed CEO, Richard Umbers.

As an examples, in the retail industry, trends that will become the norm include augmented and virtual reality and use of voice and written communication platforms.

From a career perspective, if retail organisations want to thrive in the coming years, their workforces need to be motivated now to become aware of how to upskill or reskill for these trends.

All Australian organisations can learn from global corporations that are already focusing on this. The leading case-study of shoring up future capability of a workforce is AT&T which launched its Workforce 2020 program to upskill and reskill one third of its global workforce, ensuring that its employees’ skills will not be obsolete in the next 10 years.

Most Australian organisations will delay launching similar, enterprise-wide programs, despite the costliness of losing employees and the challenges of finding great talent. However, at a local, team level, leaders can easily access resources to create individual, nimble, change-ready microcosms that can be become showcases to their organisations.

Here are some resources to consider:


  • LinkedIn
    • Engage with “Groups” to be part of conversations across your profession and industry
    • Follow “Companies” to stay abreast of what’s happening in your industry
    • Follow “Influencers” to hear what trend-setting professionals are saying about the future
To broaden your knowledge and skills in an affordable way, LinkedIn Learning provides training in functional expertise, software and learning pathways to achieve expert functional knowledge:
  • Over 4,000 business courses
  • Over 3,500 creative courses
  • Over 3,500 technology courses
If your organisation isn’t supporting your future-focused development, start a group of like-minded people across your team, business unit, organisation.

Have “brown bag lunches” where you brainstorm ways to stay on top of what’s happening across your organisation, industry and professions. Check out how you can all become expert in LinkedIn services and training. Your initiative and follow through will certainly raise your profile!

Don't forget to head over to our LinkedIn for more updates and check out our other blog posts

Written by: Greg Smith