How Do You Plan For Your Future?March 28th 2022
The future is a great unknown, and it can seem daunting to think about when our current lives are beset by change.
But if COVID-19 and the subsequent economic downturn have taught us anything, it is that planning for any and every eventuality is wise. Workplaces, working culture, career building, socialising and networking have all changed to meet the demands of a COVID-safe present, which means how younger people plan for their future has changed too.
The key thing to remember is this: there is no script to follow when it comes to planning for your future.
There is only action and preparation.
You have to make sure you are able to respond positively when opportunity comes knocking and that you are steady of mind enough to adjust your priorities if things go off-kilter.
It’s all about balance - balancing your wants and needs with reality, balancing your career goals and expectations with the reality of your chosen industry and developments within them, of balancing your own self-drive and self-awareness with globally defining events.
You cannot predict everything. But you can prepare for almost anything!
Here are our Top 5 strategies for young people to prepare for their future!
Create a CV...and make sure it gets in front of people.
You will more than likely search for, apply for, and no doubt be interviewed online. The digital realm is slowly taking over every aspect of career building, but the humble, analogue CV is still vitally important in our digital age.
Use it as a window to your person - CV’s are not, contrary to some thought, the be-all and end-all of a job application - they are simply you, summarised. There is no perfect CV (although there are traditional schools of thought around length and layout); there is only the perfect CV for you.
When you’re young, your CV will be modest. But with every qualification, every bit of work experience, every reference, and every success you add to it, it will become the ultimate reference guide of your professional qualities and personal drive and ambition. Invest in building a good CV early on.
Making sure you get your CV in front of people is equally as important. This takes time, patience, and a healthy dose of clever networking. This is where the Internet is your best friend. You can apply for jobs on multiple jobs boards, send your CV to hiring managers on LinkedIn directly, or simply build online portfolios for people to find.
Although it seems like a thankless task, having a competently made CV and a well-crafted personal “brand” will stand you in incredibly good stead when building a future.
Analyse your passions
What do you love?
Some people are lucky enough to work in a field they love. Others are in the process of finding what they love. Some, unfortunately, never do. A healthy amount of self-reflection is warranted when considering where your passions lie. Having a passion goal or target is no bad thing, but you need to know how to apply it!
Be mindful of change. What you love at 18 years old will adapt over the years, and you’ll find new avenues of energy, passion and love each decade you grow older. Allow yourself the space to analyse what you love, but never stop analysing it - you never know which career path will ignite your hidden desire to do a certain craft or work in a certain industry.
The best way to prepare for your future is to set your mind right and seek that which you love!
Make a vision board
Vision boards are creatively inspired representations of your future. Everyone should make one, no matter their plans for a career or life.
Vision boards are the result of “manifesting” what you want from your life. They are physical “boards” made up of the things you want, desire or have set as a goal, arranged in a way that can inspire you to develop a career path, network or set of hobbies that will give you a sense of purpose and satisfaction. They also serve as constant reminders of what you’re working for.
Vision boards are about reminding yourself of your purpose - it’s vital you remind yourself every day!
Gravitate to people you want to be like and seek Mentors
Proximity to those who inspire you is vital if you want to learn. Seeking a mentor can be one of, if not the, most important thing you can do to prepare for your future.
Mentors are guides, sounding boards, empathetic leaders, and exemplars of your chosen profession. They are the reference point for you to build a future around - they will not only challenge you to think about what you do and love differently, but they will provide ample advice and guidance throughout your career.
Mentors represent the best kind of network building - contemporary leaders who can provide objective advice while teaching you from a position of experience. Proximity to people like this generates opportunity. By leveraging their network, you can begin to piece together a path to career success and a secure future.
Be a sponge!
Learn learn learn - you have to be constantly and consistently learning to build the future you want. This means using all the above points - mentors, your own vision board, our online ecosystem, and your physical network - to soak up knowledge like a sponge.
Part and parcel of your journey towards your chosen line of work and a joyful career is through learning - you don’t know what you don’t know, and after leaving school, higher education, an apprenticeship, or University comes the hard part - applying your learning to your first job.
But career advancement doesn’t happen automatically. You have to work at it! You have to rely on employers to help you learn! You have to be able to compete with your peers and provide new modes of thought and effort to work to stand out. This is what gives you the position to work towards your chosen future.
Iterative practice, or iterative learning means learning through systematically applying multiple thought patterns and modes of work to a task, reviewing, and improving your work each time in the search for perfection. It’s one of the most effective ways to learn and become better at a craft. It’s quite literally learning to fail and get better!
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