Working the Future 2

So how do you future proof your prospects? –  in this altered work landscape where the ever-increasing rate of change is the main driver and employees are increasingly disposable.  It involves a different way of thinking and letting go of the expectations of the past. This is what Future Intelligence is about.  It is also about being liberated to create your own future and making yourself more employable.

The three-stage life/one size fits all pattern: education, work and then retirement is breaking down as people make their own choices and adapt in the face of change.  On the plus side this should mean enjoying greater flexibility and more choice with the option to retrain at intervals throughout a working lifetime, to change careers or have several income streams rather than relying on one job.

Dubbed The Multi- Hyphen Method by Sophie Grenham, who in her book of the same name advocates the portfolio career, where individuals have a number of side interests (AKA the Side Hustle) in addition to their main career. In theory new technology means that you can work anywhere, from home or from a beach in the Caribbean. In practice what tends to happen is that more and more people are drawn to hubs, stimulating cities where they can benefit from contacts and ideas. But still, being online offers more potential freedom to be creative wherever you happen to be, and proof of this can be seen in the unprecedent number of start-up companies.  

The breakdown of the three-stage pattern touches every aspect of life.  Take education; whereas before the major time invested in education was at the start of a career now it needs to be something which will happen at intervals though out life, to add skills and knowledge to create new opportunities.

Traditionally money tends to be taken of as a yardstick of worth. But money, once you have enough to get by, doesn’t make you happy and there are plenty of studies which show that increased wealth in a society isn’t correlated with a corresponding increase in happiness. Rather it comes from the non- financial assets in life, friendship, good health, connectedness and a sense of purpose that comes with doing something worthwhile.


Strategies for Future Proofing

  • Invest in human capital
  • Build strong social networks
  • Acquire wide experience
  • Take time out for retraining
  • Expect multi-careers and side-lines