Equal Opportunity Magazine, launched in 1968, is a career-guidance and recruitment magazine offered at no charge to qualified African American, Hispanic, Native-American, and Asian-American college students and professionals in career disciplines. Equal Opportunity empowers readers to move ahead in their job search and/or current workplace environment.
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Five Ways to Future-Proof Your Career
As we head into a new decade in 2020, you’ll need to be able to not only keep up, but also stay ahead of the competition in order to keep yourself valuable in your position and move ahead in your professional life.
To that end, here are five ways to future-proof your career:
1. Learn on the Fly: Learning on the fly is what keeps you agile. Thus, whether you fall into the working category of novice, competent, professional or expert, there’s always more learning to do. Use experience as a way of constant learning because some of the most valuable information is obtained outside of the classroom. To that end, seek ways and projects that will help you stretch and grow.
2. Be Open: Successful people are always open to change, opportunities, ideas and understanding, and they never close themselves off to new experiences. Technical skills and soft skills are equally important these days. Soft skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, communication and collaboration are in demand. In fact, demand for these higher cognitive skills will continue to grow, so start practicing those tools to become more marketable.
3. Build a Diverse Network: With online networking sites like LinkedIn, working professionals are making connections quicker and easier than ever before. Some 15% of job seekers now land jobs via social media accounts including Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. While it’s extremely easy to network online, a solid network should only consist of about 150 connections, and some of those connections should be close friends or business partners, but not all. What’s more, most times, the connections that get you a job or make a recommendation on your behalf are with those you have weaker ties. This shows that you don’t need to be best friends with every connection; just keep the connections diverse and well-rounded, and ensure they’re left with a good impression.
4. Maximize Experiences: Take every assignment and project as a chance to better yourself, but be aware there’s a big difference between confidence and competence. Thus, you should have a comfortable level of self-assurance to help you tackle projects that will expand your experience and maximize those experiences.
5. Bounce Forward: Use failures as a springboard to a new place, and recognize setbacks and learn from them, rather than letting those failures push you backward. If you want a long-lasting career, then you must be able to last through the hardships.
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