Purpose-Driven Career: Growth

Grow your future impact by investing in your skills, reputation, and community.

In our fast-changing world, it’s hard to know what the future will be like. Will AI transform jobs? Will Higher Education get disrupted?

In any case, I believe that you can take steps to future-proof your career.

As you compound your skills, reputation, and community, you’re building the foundations to future-proof your career in a way that aligns with your purpose. This would make you a good steward for the resources that have been entrusted to you.

Grow Your Skills

In today’s world, technological resources, including AI, can accelerate your skills and abilities. Leverage these tools to enhance your abilities. AI and technology are tools, similar to a paintbrush in the hands of an artist, or a power drill in the hands of a carpenter, that can be harnessed for good works and meaningful purpose.

Unless you’re continually improving your skills, you’re quickly becoming irrelevant.

Stephen Covey
  • Keep compounding to grow your abilities
  • Grow both AI skills and soft skills

Learn to use AI for certain tasks that it’s good for. However, I believe that Humans should become better Humans in order to future-proof their careers.

There was a recent report from IBM “Augmented work for an automated, AI-driven world” that anticipates in the future, jobs would need human work assisted by AI, rather than be replaced by AI.

However, it’s not necessarily the technical skills that you should invest in. In the IBM report, they surveyed business executives each year, on the key skills they are hiring for in their workforce.

In 2016, the #1 top key skills were STEM skills, Science/Technology/Engineering/Math.

However, now in 2023, with the sudden advancements in AI technologies, the STEM skills dropped to 12th place. Instead, the Top skills desired by companies are all People skills, Communication Skills, Leadership Skills, Critical Analysis and Prioritization skills.

My take on this is that we all need to learn to use AI, kind of like learning to operate a car and use the GPS navigation system, without necessarily knowing all the engineering behind them.

However, we need to be building our uniquely-human people skills and leadership skills and prioritization skills and ethics skills in order to future-proof our careers to make a bigger impact, assisted by technologies.

Grow Your Brand and Reputation

Besides your skills, you also want to consistently grow your personal brand and reputation. Your personal brand is partly what you say about yourself, and it’s partly what other people say about you.

You’ll need to consistently deliver in helping people, to build trust in your brand. When you deliver on your promises, your personal brand and reputation will grow from it.

Your personal brand and reputation are key assets to grow over time that will also give you more future opportunities. When you consistently deliver on your promises on small things, then people will trust you to deliver on bigger things.

Grow Your Community

Building a community of people who trust each other, strengthens your network.

You build this community network using the best of your abilities and with your brand and reputation.

To continue to amplify your abilities to fulfill your purpose, eventually you will need to teach and mentor others with your life experiences. It doesn’t mean that you need to be a people manager, but you do want to be able to teach and mentor others.