10 tips for future proof career development

This article is aimed for Employers, interested in personal and career development of their employees in order to retain best talent at their work places. If you are working for someone, read on to gain an insight on what career development is all about.

1. Provide incentives for employees to go on a meditation retreat. Allowing the workforce to clear their minds allows for them to concentrate on the more important aspects of progressing within their career.

2. Have a BlackBerry-off outside working hours policy. Research has shown that 59% of workers check their work emails whilst on holiday. Although this may allow individuals to catch up on emails, they are also at risk of becoming entirely reactive as opposed to being proactive upon return. Suggest a protocol whereby employees are rung, only if there is an urgent issue.

Social interaction is an important part of our professional lives and mustering the skills required to effectively do so can open doors through networking and enhance existing relationships.

10 tips for future proof career development

3. Encourage networking. Just like a garden, networks needs watering. Networking is an important element within an employee’s professional lifetime as it can place experts within their reach and establish key contacts for the future. It is important to encourage employees to invest some time in strengthening those ties that they may have been neglecting.

4. Encourage employees to read a book. Reading non-fiction or biographies can provide employees with non-technical perspectives. Whilst technical knowledge is imperative, having a broad perspective in life is equally as important.

5. Organise an acting class. Actors are great at using their voice and their bodies to create presence and impact. A lot of what an actor learns is directly applicable in the workplace, by instilling confidence and assertiveness.

The key elements of our professional lives are very similar to thse of our personal counterpart – we are continually learning and facing new challenges. Championing individuals to face these challenges is a good way to future-proof their careers.

6. Establish learning programmes. Encourage employees to learn a new language, sport or skill. As with the world of business, (and indeed life) the important thing is to never stop learning. Learning relieves the stresses of the professional life, whilst constructively building skills that can be used within it.

7. Work in some challenging goals. By stretching individuals outside their comfort zone, they start to develop resilience to handle even the toughest of challenges in their professional lives. Start by setting non-business critical, yet challenging goals as part of their reviews.

A key challenges for today’s professional is that of staff churn. Whilst there are many elements within the art of retention, making employees into valued assets of an organisation is perhaps one of the most effective methods of ensuring that the most treasured individuals remain loyal.

8. Provide personal marketing sessions. Once the preserve of celebrities, the building of a “personal brand” is rapidly gaining in popularity in business, since clients and peers buy into the person as much as their experience. Take an hour to encourage employees to look at what is their brand, how they would like it to be and how they would summarize it in one sentence or image.

9. Run a CV-skills session. CVs and resumes are often viewed upon as merely mandatory material for job interviews. However it is important that individuals view their CVs as an indicator of their personal achievements, as well as a personal mission statement.

10. Run regular idea workshops. Run an idea workshop to encourage individuals to develop an idea for your company and to share this with their teams. Encourage management to allow this kernel of an idea to evolve into something which your company can take forward. Innovation is the key to many organisational successes and good ideas can transform individuals into valued assets in their own right.

Time is a precious commodity and for many individuals, their day-to-day professional lives often take precedence in what they are able to focus on. Unfortunately, this has an inherent side effect – whilst individuals are often very good at making decisions for their organisations, they can often become short-sighted in their own career decisions.

Employees, and indeed ourselves, can take these 10 steps to future-proof our careers and deliver a return on investment – not only for the organisation we work for, but for ourselves.

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