Before You Ask “Does My Job Have a Future?”, Ask if You Have a Future in Your Job

You will if you take these 3 important steps to future-proof yourself at your workplace.

With so much technology and such breathtaking change how do you continue to remain relevant and keep yourself gainfully employed? 

 1. Embrace technology, hug learning

While technology is always going to be a double edged sword, accept it as integral to futureproof yourself at work. Similarly, life-long learning is here to stay. 

At Singtel for example, future proofing is equated to continuous learning. Under its policy of “no one left behind”, it urges all its staff to be digital citizens.

“We must be future-proofing ourselves year after year, day after day, minute after minute.”
— Aileen Tan, Group Chief HR Officer, Singtel 

Likewise in DBS Bank, digital readiness is in full evidence, with all 26,000 employees encouraged to keep learning despite age or seniority, according to the bank’s executive director Shefali Gupta. 

The company focuses on motivating employees to learn new skills with a week-long teaching program called “Back to School” with classes held every hour.

Taught by employees, learning becomes more experiential and human-centred as employees get to understand customer’s job-to-be-done and their pain points. In such manner, DBS employees get to prototype and test solutions quickly.

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2. Accept that change is the new norm

Ask yourself if you’ve had 5 years’ experience in your job or one year’s experience repeated 5 times over. Everything changes – now faster than ever before. Typewriters – once the marvel at offices – are now an oddity. Be receptive to change. To challenging norms. To trying different things and trying things differently. 

What if Steve Jobs had followed IBM’s PC path as the only way to go? Apple would not have emerged. And Job’s motto for Apple when he first launched it? “Think Different”.

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you always get what you’ve always got.”
— Henry Ford

3. Networking is important too

Are there “difficult” people at work? Perhaps you are approaching them wrongly. Instead of discussing with them at their office cubicle, try doing it over a cup of coffee when they are less guarded for example. 

Also, link to younger colleagues. If you only spend time with people of your own age and background, you’ll just be reinforcing your own viewpoints. Don’t just co-exist, communicate with them. Understand their perspective, learn their lingo. If you’re still figuring out “FOMO”, add “JOMO” to the list.

On external networking, tap on resources like your alumni and LinkedIn contacts. Networking conferences and seminars like TED talks and even webinars are a great way to expand your network and learn from industry ‘gurus’. Look out for industry-specific networking events. For example, digital marketers would have penciled in the Digital Marketing World Forum at the Sands Expo on February 19. 

Here’s a list of some of the 2020 events in Singapore.

Once you’ve done all that you can to remain relevant to your organisation in the spirit of staying curious to learn, your future will certainly be… more certain. 

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