Baby Boomers, there’s a rough road ahead. Are you prepared? You’ll need every advantage to stay in front of the curve. Whether you work for someone else or own your own business, the following article offers helpful tips for staying at the head of the pack.

Are You Future Proof? 6 Tips To Staying Ahead Of All The Rest – By Louisa J Green

Will your job still exist in 10 years time? How will your workplace have changed?

With the downturn in the economy and the rapid developments in technology the future is uncertain. Here are 6 tips to help you to stay ahead of all the rest and remain competitive in the rapidly changing workplace.

1. Take control of your own development – The work place is rapidly developing and you will need to stay ahead of the game.

•BE TECH SAAVY – Improve your computer knowledge, it opens up a window on the world. Many of the changes we are seeing at the moment are as we strive to find faster, more efficient technical systems. Keeping up to date with these developments is much easier than trying to catch up with them. Learn about the newest technologies eg; blogging, web conferencing, social media etc. If you work in a highly technical environment, make sure that your knowledge is up to date. Even if the company you work for does not.

•CONTINUE YOUR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT – Don’t wait for your boss to send you on a course. Take control and develop your skills so that you will appeal to a wide variety of employers. Work on skills such as; communication, time management, leadership, innovation, stress management, tracking systems and goal setting.

•These are fundamental skills that are required for most jobs today. The better you are at them the more competitive you will be in the workplace. Pick one skill and work on it for six months, then pick another. Taking control of your own professional development is very empowering. It will help you to realise that YOU are responsible for your own destiny.

2. Create and maintain a record of your own success – Keep track of your accomplishments. It is much easier to do this as you go along than to try to remember everything for an interview. Keep any certificates, accolades, news clippings, testimonials, performance reviews. Potential clients/employers will want to know exactly what you can do for them and by keeping everything together you can be sure that you don’t miss anything out. It is also good for your motivation and self-esteem to be able to revisit your accomplishments and remind yourself how far you have come and how well you are doing on your journey so far.

3. Maintain a professional network – Networking is a very powerful tool for anyone who is focused on developing their business/career. By socializing with like minded people you can help each other to keep up to date with any developments within your chosen fields, exchange tips on how to deal with certain situations and provide each other with potential opportunities in the future. Make sure that you keep in touch with colleagues who move on from your place of employment as well as maintaining relationships with the people within your place of work. Expand your social network by joining a business club or taking part different activities.

4. Keep your eyes wide open – Be aware for changes and trends in the economy, your profession and the industry you are in. You can’t predict the future but you can stay one step ahead or the rest. Keep yourself informed and choose to work for employers that have long-term sustainability.   Avoid working in an industry that is on a downwards turn. Being an expert in a dying trade may prove profitable in the short-term but it will eventually die out leaving you stranded and needing to retrain.

5. Keep your career path open – Some people are fortunate enough to be in a career where their path is laid out for them. With plenty of opportunities for growth, training and development.   Most people do not have this luxury. If you are in an industry that is slow-growing or in decline there may be no clear path ahead of you. This can lead to feelings of boredom, frustration and low self esteem as you fail to achieve your full potential. This is when you need to review your options and unblock the pathway even if this means changing your place of work or your career.

6. Become resilient – The future is uncertain and no matter how much you try to plan it, life will have its ups and downs. It is how you choose to deal with these that will determine whether or not you go on to succeed. Work as hard on developing yourself as your career. Track your progress, it will help you to identify what is holding you back. Set realistic goals, celebrate your successes and learn to realise that setbacks are chances to learn, grow and move forward even stronger.

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