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Career Planning Guide

Career Planning Guide

Futureproof your career

If you put into practice the actions described in previous sections to help you manage change and be more resilient, and you keep reflecting on and reviewing your decision-making, actions and a choices, you are already futureproofing your career. Futureproofing means being ready and able to adapt, pursue different avenues, and being canny in the way you keep considering your options and anticipating new directions your chosen field might be heading in. The idea of a “career” is probably a bit of a misnomer; you might follow lots of career paths and these will become jigsaw pieces that build the picture of your working life.

Top Tips for futureproofing your career, so you can cope with whatever life throws at you:

Almost everything you do has value in multiple contexts. This includes activities beyond your studies or profession, like caring for others and managing adversity. Valuing your skills and knowing how to articulate them makes you attractive to diverse employers.

If you don’t keep your mind and eyes open to different opportunities, you’ll miss them.

This will help keep you sane and avoid the loneliness that we can all sometimes feel. From a more self-interested perspective, maintaining relationships you build within your field or chosen industry also means you’ll be more likely to be someone’s go-to person when an opportunity arrives. Help and support others with no hidden agenda, because that makes the world a better place. But also know that it’s not doing you any harm (as long as you keep your boundaries and don’t let people exploit your good nature!).

Who knows what is around the corner? You might be in your dream job and think you can sit back and relax and then a global pandemic throws everything off course. You might be at the point of giving up, and then you get an email from an old colleague asking if you’re interested in an exciting opportunity. You might decide to change direction to look after your mental health and discover this new direction is more rewarding that you ever imagined. Nothing stays still and you are worth continued attention and investment in your own professional development.

Think ahead about what will be desirable to future employers. Whilst you’re at university, take advantage of your access to free training. Maybe there’s a training session you could do on a particular methodology, or maybe you could design an event that would benefit you and your peers. Or, you could do a free online course with Future Learn or the Open University. Follow your interests as well as your sense of what might be the next zeitgeist.

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