Future proofing your career with professional development

“The only thing that is constant is change” – so said the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus and it continues to ring true today.

Industries are changing, continuing to evolve in response to challenges (such as the COVID-19 pandemic), technological disruptors and customer expectations. As a result, there is a greater need for the workforce to continue to adapt and develop. We need to be agile to stay on top of these changes, continue developing and learning, which will work towards future proofing our careers.

While some industries have formal professional development programs, there are many ways to foster your own development for those who don’t have formal pathways. Here is how you can take the lead to future proof your career.

Enrol in a course

Some workplaces offer both in-person and online courses, for example LinkedIn Learning, so take advantage of what’s on offer. You can also seek out professional courses relevant to your industry to upskill, keeping you abreast of the changing environment – not to mention that further education is a great additional to your CV as it showcases your engagement within the industry and your proactive approach to your career.

Attend webinars or seminars

While COVID restrictions have halted many in-person seminars, there are plenty of online webinars you can attend, some which are specifically on the topic of future proofing your career. While there are a number of free webinars you can attend, others may be offered by organisations to their members. Paid membership to these organisations be they industry groups, or groups centred around a common goal, can be a worthwhile investment assisting with not only educational sessions but networking opportunities.

Not only are webinars accessible from your office or living room, they tend to be more budget-friendly than seminars. However, seminars offer face-to-face learning and networking opportunities, so they are great to utilise where possible.

Pick up a book or listen to podcasts

It doesn’t get easier than picking up a book to arm yourself with new knowledge. There is a wealth of information out there, some which will be general advice discussing trends and management styles, others that will be tailored to your industry.

If you don’t have much time to read, opt for an audio book to listen to in the car or during exercise. Podcasts are also excellent ways of getting helpful information in a format that is convenient and can be tapped in and out of. As they are regularly created, you’re likely to get more up-to-date information this way.

Enlist the help of a mentor

It’s clear that a mentor can help you stay on top of your industry or explore new opportunities by providing support and guidance. A 2019 survey showed that while 76% of people thought mentors are important, only 37% actually have one.i

The study also found that 61% of mentor-mentee relationships developed naturally, with 25% happening after someone offered to mentor, and 14% when someone asked for a mentor. This means that there’s likely to already be someone in your life who could be your mentor. Think about who is dynamic in facing industry changes and don’t be shy to ask if they’re open to mentoring you.


Join peer groups

An extension of having a mentor, peer groups provide you with the support of others who are also dedicated to professional and personal growth. If you are someone who thrives on peer support, it will be invaluable to be part of a group of people rather than going it alone.

You can give each other feedback, check in on each other’s goals and share helpful experiences and resources such as great books or webinars. This is also a fantastic way to make real-life connections – you might even meet someone who helps you land a new job or open doors to a new industry. Online tools such as Meetup can help you find a group near you and keep an eye on industry meetups as well.

Life is full of change, but rather than feeling overwhelmed, embrace it. By furthering your education, you’ll future proof your career and feel more empowered tackling the changes you face.


https://online.olivet.edu/research-statistics-on-professional-mentors

Material contained in this publication is a summary only and is based on information believed to be reliable and received from sources within the market. It is not the intention of RGM Financial Planners Pty Ltd ABN 36 419 582 Australian Financial Services Licence Number 229471, RGM Accountants & Advisors Pty Ltd ABN 69 528 723 510 that this publication be used as the primary source of readers’ information but as an adjunct to their own resources and training. No representation is given, warranty made or responsibility taken as to the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of any information or recommendation contained in this publication and RGM and its related bodies corporate will not be liable to the reader in contract or tort (including for negligence) or otherwise for any loss or damage arising as a result of the reader relying on any such information or recommendation (except in so far as any statutory liability cannot be excluded).

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Are your life goals on track?

More and more often I am faced sitting across my desk from people who have come to me facing an uncertain future.

What I find interesting about this is that there is no stereotypical type of person, I see a range of people from your stay at home mum or dad who haven’t worked in a number of years, to part time workers, full time and professionals of both genders.

The one thing that they seem to have in common is that for many different reasons, they haven’t focused on their independent financial situation, then a crisis occurs and they begin to panic about their future. Anything from a relationship breakdown, the death of a spouse or a failed business can be one of these triggers.

Recently, in my own time, I have had the privilege to work with a small group of women and mentor them through some everyday issues that will set them up and educate them about ensuring their financial future is sound. We have been able to come together via Zoom Meetings  and it’s been lovely to watch the mentees grow and share their experiences not only with me as a mentor but with each other, which has enabled them to build on their confidence and goal setting.

We have covered topics including superannuation, insurances, wills and powers of attorney, investments, taxes, personal branding and re-education to get back into the workforce. Areas such as ‘how much money do I need to retire with’ compared to existing retirement savings have been explored. We have discussed pushing ourselves outside comfort zones to strive for goals. Having these monthly meetings to flesh out a fresh topic each time then going away with a small amount of homework to report back together has ensured that the ladies have received the best outcome.

We still have a few more months to go and I am personally feeling so rewarded to be able to help educate and make this group of mentees aware of so many issues that they previously had little to no idea about. It means they are on the road to financial independence, long term planning to ensure financial security and in control of their future.

Being a Chartered Accountant and a Financial Planner gives me the leadership skills to be able to help guide and reassure these mentees that together we can build a way forward.

If this resonates with you and you would like to take control of your financial future we would love to be able to assist you.

You can contact Prue Cox via email at our Drouin office – drouin@rgmgroup.com.au or 03 5120 1400.