Four ways to ensure your future



How can I provide for the long-term future of my family? Are you asking the same question?

The fact is that you can’t trust that the company you work for will provide a career progression for you or even provide for you financially in the long term. The Business Insider wrote an article about the delusional belief of careers. “… people today can no longer rely on an outdated system of career advancement — one that presumes employees will be given incremental chances for career advancement along with raises and title changes.”. I have certainly found this true in my life.

It is the same with running a business where you have to be continually innovative to make it relevant for the customers you are serving.

One things for sure that you and I can’t ignore reality and hope that things magically change. We have to have faith that life rewards action and that if we prepare as best we can, and do the necessary work, that we will be rewarded.

Here are four things that I am trying to work through and I hope will help you as well.

1. Predicting the future

Life is incredibly uncertain and change is taking place as an ever increasing pace. There is a good chance that the company you are working for, or have, will not be around in 2023. That is just five years’ time!

So is there a way that you can predict what the world will look like in 2023? No – but we can use all the resources we have to make an educated guess and then work towards this imagined world.

The future of jobs report 2018

An important resource is a report produced by the World Economic Forum (WEF) titled “The future of jobs Report 2018”. I encourage you to download and read it.

Here are some excerpts from the report:

  • Skills demand in 2023 top ten:

  1. Analytical thinking and innovation

  2. Active learning and learning strategies

  3. Creativity, originality and initiative

  4. Technology design and programming

  5. Critical thinking and analysis

  6. Complex problem-solving

  7. Leadership and social influence

  8. Emotional intelligence

  9. Reasoning, problem-solving and ideation

  10. Systems analysis and evaluation

  • New roles:

  • Data Analysts and Scientists

  • AI and Machine Learning Specialists

  • General and Operations Managers

  • Big Data Specialists

  • Digital Transformation Specialists

  • Sales and Marketing Professionals

  • New Technology Specialists

  • Organizational Development Specialists

  • Software and Applications Developers and Analysts

  • Information Technology Services

  • Process Automation Specialists

  • Innovation Professionals

  • Information Security Analysts

  • Ecommerce and Social Media Specialists

  • User Experience and Human-Machine

  • Interaction Designers

  • Training and Development Specialists

  • Robotics Specialists and Engineers

  • People and Culture Specialists

  • Client Information and Customer Service Workers

  • Service and Solutions Designers

  • Digital Marketing and Strategy Specialists

  • For South Africa:

  • Top five technology adoption:

  1. User and entity big data analytics

  2. Machine learning

  3. App- and web-enabled markets

  4. Cloud computing

  5. Internet of things

  • Emerging skills:

  1. Analytical thinking and innovation

  2. Creativity, originality and initiative

  3. Active learning and learning strategies

  4. Technology design and programming

  5. Complex problem-solving

  6. Leadership and social influence

  7. Reasoning, problem-solving and ideation

  8. Critical thinking and analysis

  9. Resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility

  10. Emotional intelligence

Thinking skills and technology

Based on this report it seems that the ideal skills to have for the future is the ability to think analytically, creatively but also have relevant technology knowledge and skills.

What are you doing to prepare yourself for 2023 and beyond? How do you see yourself changing to be successful?

2. Continuous education

Do you feel overwhelmed by the list of skills and new roles discussed in the WEF “The future of jobs Report 2018”? I must say I do.

Today we have to be continually learning and fortunately there are a lot of excellent cost-effective resources at our disposal.

  • Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs):

My favourite MOOC at the moment is EDX (www.edx.org) where there are thousands of excellent courses to study.A course that I have been doing, and really enjoying is “Idea Development: Create and Implement Innovative Ideas". Of course it often gets quite difficult to find the time to do the courses you have selected but I believe it is worth it.

  • Podcasts:

Podcasts are another fantastic way to get valuable content and almost all free.My current favourite podcasts are:

  • The Ziglar Show – Inspiring Your True Performance

  • Best Practice

  • HBR IdeaCast

  • The Tim Ferriss Show

  • The Tony Robbins Podcast

The great thing about podcasts is that you can listen to them on the way to work or while exercising.

I think it is also important to do courses at the leading South African providers, and online internationally, but I find that they are often quite expensive (for me at least).

What are you doing to increase your knowledge and skills?

3. Own your industry

I have recently “discovered” Douglas Kruger and have been reading his material and watching his videos of Youtube. I might actually buy one of his books one day 😊.

One of the books he has written is titled “Own your industry – how to position yourself as an expert”.

I don’t know if you have noticed but the recognised, and extremely wealthy, people all own their industry. It has long been that in sport only a small percentage of professionals make significant money while most battle to make ends meet. The top footballers, tennis players, rugby players, cricket players (and all other sports) own their industries and so reap the rewards.

It might be that in future you will have to own your industry just to make a good living – or am I being a bit overly dramatic.

Douglas Kruger says that to own an industry you have to have three things:

  1. Knowledge: You need to know what you are doing.

  2. Personality: You need to be someone who is different and larger than life. There are so many examples of this from Richard Branson through to Elon Musk.

  3. Promotion: Get out and introduce yourself to the world.

Douglas also says that if you are known as an expert then they will come to you.

Of course to do this you have to have a niche that provides value for people and companies so that when you do become a leader in your niche that it provides financial reward. To do this we have to go back to our predictions of the future and fill a niche that we predict will be needed.

As a shy introvert I have to work on the personality and particularly the promotion aspects of owning my industry. It doesn’t come easy to me and I have to actively force myself to this. Do you find this easy?

Are you making plans to own your industry? Let’s do it together…

4. Having a Side hustle

I used to think of a side hustle as something that shouldn’t be done but the truth is that companies do this all the time. Companies often form divisions, or separate companies, that focus on new products, services and business models. This is a basic innovation process and, if it fails then it is done fast and cheap, but if successful can become the main focus of the company.

We have recently seen this with Naspers where they started with Multichoice but have now become a global internet group.

Idea Storm is essentially my side hustle where I can play with things until I hopefully find something that works and perhaps it can grow into a fully-fledged business.

What is your side hustle?

In summary

I find that in order to provide for the future I am thinking of at least these four things:

  1. Predicting the future

  2. Continuous education

  3. Owning my industry

  4. Having a side hustle

Are you thinking about the future? How do you continuously re-invent yourself?

Don’t be discouraged! The world has never had more opportunities for you and me. We need to work and position ourselves so that the world needs our skills both now and the future – and pay us generously for them.

#Future

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