I shared last week that your job is likely changing. If your context, industry, or organization is changing, your job is changing. It is difficult to plan for the future because we don’t know it, but we can prepare for it. As jobs are continually changing. what should we do to ensure we are prepared for the future? Here are five ways to prepare for a changing future:
1. Try new things.
It may sound trite but trying new things can expand your perspective. Going to a new city, experiencing new food, taking a risk, or trying a new hobby gives you new perspective and helps remind you that the world is big. A broader perspective can help expand creativity, increase problem-solving ability, and broaden learning.
2. Learn new skills.
If you do not learn new skills and your job changes (which it likely will), you will not be prepared for the future. If you learn new skills to help you better execute your current role, you are simultaneously developing yourself for a future role.
3. Take on new projects outside your role.
One of the best ways to expand your leadership capacity is to take on projects outside your role. By doing so, you are forced to learn new skills and increase the amount of responsibility you can handle at one time. You will not grow if you are never overwhelmed.
4. Read outside your discipline.
Just as trying new things expands your perspective, so does reading outside your discipline. I have heard leaders describe how reading or learning in another discipline provided perspective to help them solve problems in their current discipline.
5. Develop others.
A common and unspoken reason people do not develop others is that they fear those they develop could replace them and thus make them unnecessary. Leaders should develop others who could replace them, and leaders who do so make themselves even more valuable. People who can develop others will always be able to add value to an organization. If you develop others you won’t be “working yourself out of a job” as much as you are honing the skill that is transferrable to lots of roles and contexts.