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Quiz: how future proof are you?

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‘As long as you’re in control of your happiness, you are future proof,’ said Jay Samit, author of Future Proofing You. But that’s easier said than done, right? Change is inevitable, and we’ve always been told to expect the unexpected, but for many of us the pace of the life is creating bigger changes and more unexpected situations than we could ever have anticipated even just ten years ago.

So how ready, willing and able do you feel to navigate the ups and downs of the weeks, months and years ahead? Take our quiz to find out — and get some helpful suggestions for future proofing yourself in a way that makes you feel far more in control of your happiness…

 

1. How would you describe the people you learn from, both personally and professionally?

 

2. The promotion you were hoping for goes to a colleague with very similar knowledge and experience to you. Which best describes your immediate reaction?

 

3. Which of the following images best sums up your feelings about change?




 

4. What’s your view on networking events?

 

5. You’ve secured a new position within an industry that you’ve not worked in before. Do you:

 

6. In a meeting, a new team member introduces a perspective that completely undermines a long-held argument of yours — and what’s more, you know that they’re right! What’s your most likely response?

 

7. Complete the following sentence: Creativity is…

 

8. You’ve had a day when everything seems to have gone wrong. How do you react?

 

9. The initials VUCA have become shorthand for four distinct challenges faced by managers today. What do they stand for?

 

10. Which of the following quotes about technology most resonates with you?

 

11. How many of the following do you use to keep track of the latest trends in your industry?
Google Trends Google Alerts Social media Networking
Keyword research Industry-specific data Newsfeeds and newspapers Talking to clients/customers
Following competitor activity Analysing customer data Signing up for relevant emails Following industry-related blogs

 

12. Which of the following best describes your professional communication style?

 

13. To what extent does your professional life reflect the qualities shared in this quote by Kim Vu, Global Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Remitly: ‘By having the courage to take the first step into rooms, circles, and conversations where you may feel like you don’t belong, you also open the door for others to contribute their diverse perspectives, creating more meaningful, collaborative solutions for today and beyond.’

 

GET YOUR RESULT

You scored __ out of a possible 39

WHEN THE FUTURE COMES, YOU’LL BE READY.

Attitude is everything when it comes to navigating the future — and you’ve got the right one. You have a curious, open mind that makes you flexible, resilient and hopeful about what the future can bring, but also grounded and resourced enough to deal with unexpected challenges.

So what more can you do to bolster your future positive state of mind? Here are three suggestions to give you some food for thought…

BROADEN YOUR NETWORK

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to networking — choosing mentors just like you, but just a few years older and wiser. And yet the more diverse and inclusive your thinking, the greater your access to insights that can help you innovate in the future and make some invaluable contributions.

How to diversify:

Break your habits — look for people who inspire you off your well-trodden path, whether that’s on social media or within your own organisation. Be curious about the influencers who shaped their lives.

2. LEAN INTO THE UNKNOWN

This is an art form. Tolerating uncertainty is one thing; turning it into an ally is quite another. But now that rapid and unpredictable change has become the norm, the ability to do exactly this is invaluable.

How to deal with not knowing:

Instead of focusing on the discomfort, look for what you can bring to the situation. ‘When we see something that needs improvement, our next step is to recognize what we personally can do to be a part of the solution,’ explains Christine Carter, PhD. ‘What skills and talents (or even just interests) can we bring to the issue? What really matters to us, and how can we be of service?’

3. TAKE A STEP DOWN FROM THE TOP

We know that a good work-life balance trumps endless hours behind a desk, so is it time to ask yourself whether pushing for pole position is really what you’re all about?

An exercise in repositioning:

Rather than trying to be in the top 1% of a particular field, artist and cartoonist Scott Adams suggest aiming for a place in the top 25% of two or more things. ‘Capitalism rewards things that are both rare and valuable,’ he says. ‘You make yourself rare by combining two or more ‘pretty goods’ until no one else has your mix.’

WHAT NEXT?

What next? Delve into our future-proofing reading list...

4 ways you’re already future proofing your career – and how you can get better at it

Future-proofing your career (part 1 of 4): You, technology, and the four questions to ask yourself right now

Quiz: Where are you on the growth-fixed mindset scale?

You scored __ out of a possible 39

WHEN IT COMES TO THE FUTURE, YOU’RE 60% PROOF

Quite understandably, you have some reservations about the future and whether you’re going to be able to navigate the ups and downs that come with it. You’re not alone. However, while you may feel uncertain or even anxious, you also have resilience, experience and resources to draw on that will stand you in good stead.

To increase your future proof rating, take a look at the following three suggestions…

1. EMBRACE EMPATHY

Empathy means taking the time to see something from another’s perspective. It fosters an emotionally supportive culture of inclusivity and creates more tolerance and understanding for perspectives, experiences and professional challenges that are different from our own.

How to increase your empathy:

Talk — and listen. Invite conversations with people who are different from you, in and out of work. Put judgements and assumptions to one side, be curious and really listen. And why not broaden your connections on social media too while you’re at it?

2. CULTIVATE A GROWTH MINDSET

This means believing that there’s always more you can learn, and nothing is immutable, but remember — there’s no such thing as a ‘pure’ growth mindset, says psychology professor Carol Dweck. People and situations frequently trigger our ‘fixed-mindset persona’ where we double down on what we ‘know’ — for example if we’re criticised and become defensive.

How to develop a growth mindset:

‘To remain in a growth zone,’ says Dweck, ‘we must identify and work with these triggers. Many managers and executives have benefited from learning to recognize when their fixed mindset persona shows up and what it says to make them feel threatened or defensive. Most importantly, over time they have learned to talk back to it, persuading it to collaborate with them as they pursue challenging goals.’

3. DON’T BE AFRAID TO HAVE A VISION

In the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world we live in, plans are often subject to change, creating destabilising ambiguity. This is where holding a vision can be a lighthouse in a storm. If the unexpected happens, there’s still a direction of travel.

How to set a vision:

A vision should be compelling, emotionally engaging, and exciting, whether it’s a personal ambition or a professional goal. It also needs to be clear and aligned with your values. This way, it creates the energy and motivation you need to navigate any obstacles that get in your way.

WHAT NEXT?

What next? Delve into our future-proofing reading list...

4 ways you’re already future proofing your career – and how you can get better at it

Future-proofing your career (part 1 of 4): You, technology, and the four questions to ask yourself right now

Quiz: Where are you on the growth-fixed mindset scale?

You scored __ out of a possible 39

RIGHT NOW, THE FUTURE IS NOT YOUR FRIEND

Quite understandably, you have reservations about the future and whether you’re going to be able to navigate the inevitable ups and downs that come with it. You’re not alone. However, while you may feel uncertain or even anxious, there’s plenty that you can do to boost your ‘future proof rating’.

The following suggestions will give you some resources to help you face the future with confidence and bring out your best side in times of uncertainty…

1. EMBRACE YOUR INDIVIDUALITY

“True leadership stems from individuality that is honestly and sometimes imperfectly expressed … Leaders should strive for authenticity over perfection,’ said Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook. This means going back to the raw material that makes you you, because there’s absolutely no future in not being yourself wholeheartedly and with confidence.

How to connect with your individuality:

Do a SWOT analysis: your strengths and weaknesses, as well as the opportunities you have in your life and the threats to your future happiness. You can make it purely professional or review your personal life too, and make sure you back up each statement with examples. Then decide what needs to change.

2. CULTIVATE A GROWTH MINDSET

This means believing that there’s always more you can learn, and nothing is immutable, but remember — there’s no such thing as a ‘pure’ growth mindset, says psychology professor Carol Dweck. People and situations frequently trigger our ‘fixed-mindset persona’ where we double down on what we ‘know’ — for example if we’re criticised and become defensive.

How to develop a growth mindset:
‘To remain in a growth zone,’ says Dweck, ‘we must identify and work with these triggers. Many managers and executives have benefited from learning to recognize when their fixed mindset persona shows up and what it says to make them feel threatened or defensive. Most importantly, over time they have learned to talk back to it, persuading it to collaborate with them as they pursue challenging goals.’

UNLOCK A LOVE OF LEARNING

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s an uncomfortable truth that the minute we stop learning, we start falling behind. Of course, we can’t set out to know everything. Instead focus on building on who you are with more of what inspires you.

How to become a lifelong learner:

The first step is to leave the Comfort Zone of what you know and put yourself into situations where you’re not the smartest or most experienced person in the room. Become a people watcher too. In the words of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt: ‘Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.’

WHAT NEXT?

What next? Delve into our future-proofing reading list...

4 ways you’re already future proofing your career – and how you can get better at it

Future-proofing your career (part 1 of 4): You, technology, and the four questions to ask yourself right now

Quiz: Where are you on the growth-fixed mindset scale?