How to future proof your career

by Sep 8, 2020

Future proof your career while transitioning back to a physical workplace


Make the transition ‘back to work’ easier and future proof your career at the same time. 


The world of work is changing. No one dreamt on January 1st 2020 as they nursed their sore New Year heads, that life as they knew it would disappear. No office, no shops, events, restaurants, cinema or sport. The world experienced a collective trauma as 23 million contracted a brutal virus which caused 800,000 deaths and impacted millions of jobs.

Now 6 months later the world is slowly and gingerly trying to figure out what the “next normal” will be and how the work place will re-configure in an office-less age.

Often called a “return to work”,  by people with a commercial real estate portfolio, this is a misnomer because many people have been working right the way through the crisis just remotely. Especially women. Many companies are psychologically still trapped into presence culture thinking that everyone has to be in the same physical space for an activity to count as work. We all know that isn’t true.

future proof your career

Returning to a physical workplace

But if you are returning to a physical business address, there are certain things you can do to make that transition easier and future proof your career at the same time. And these suggestions are not going to be what you think! I’m talking about the benefits of showing sincere interest.

1. Convert online networking to in person

If you have been following our advice you will have been reaching out to three people every day via online platforms while you were working from home. Now see if you can convert those connections to live meetings, obviously following socially distancing protocols in place in your region or town. This will help boost local businesses too!

2. Check in with colleagues or connections who are being negatively impacted

Everyone has different experience of this terrible crisis. Be supportive and show gratitude. Find out what you can do to help. It might be someone has a pre-existing condition and can’t return to the office. Others might be caring for someone who is vulnerable. See what they need to make their lives easier, even if it’s only a weekly update on what is going on at the office. Don’t make them feel bad because they can’t or don’t want to come into the office.

future proof your career

3. Pay it forward

If someone in your company has lost their job, offer to circulate their CV in your network or endorse their skills or write a recommendation for them on LinkedIn. Your kindness will be returned in abundance if you ever need it yourself.  If you are interviewing candidates for a job in your company check your own biases especially those around unemployment bias and others that need special attention during COVID19.

Take a look at our FREE Resource: Daily LinkedIn routine for today’s super busy women for more help on managing this useful platform

4. Stay in touch with the market

Your job might be safe for now, but we are living in precarious times. Always stay in touch with the market, observe and read signals carefully (without becoming paranoid) and try to anticipate trends. Now is a good time to invest in your professional development as many organisations are still offering free or discounted courses. That will change before long.

Power Podcast – 10 ways to create a post pandemic career safety net

5. Collaborate

We all long for human connection. This might be physically difficult with current health protocols, but now is a time for team collaboration, and sharing resources. This could be tapping into your deep experience, as well as passing on knowledge and other insights. Become a go-to person for something specific which adds value to your team or organisation. We all need people to lean on.

6. Show your humanity

This is what will make you memorable, not applying the latest LinkedIn gimmick to your profile or pitching your USP on demand. People remember how you make them feel says Maya Angelou and she is right. At a time when there is so much uncertainty, confusion and conflict all around us, listen deeply and attentively and communicate with intention. If you struggle, try to manage your emotions, take a 10 second pause and breathe deeply. Find out how your colleagues really feel.

You never know what is going on for someone else.

These small acts of kindness while not traditional ways to future proof your career, will help your stock of credit in the favour bank. Paul Coelho said “The favor bank is the most powerful bank in the world, and you’ll find it in every sphere of life.” 

 It never goes amiss.


Contact 3Plus today to find out more about our Career Booster Coaching Services.

Dorothy Dalton Administrator
Dorothy Dalton is CEO of 3Plus International. A specialist in diversity and bias conscious executive search, she supports organizations to achieve business success via gender balance, diversity and inclusion. She is CIPD qualified, and a certified coach and trainer including digital learning.
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