Helping your employees to future proof their careers

The 2018 “Future of jobs” report by the World Economic Forum listed the top 10 careers that will be in decline by 2022 as a result of the increase in robot technology. How many of your employees are at risk? 

  1. Data entry clerks
  2. Accounting, bookkeeping and payroll clerks
  3. Administrative and executive secretaries
  4. Assembly and factory workers
  5. Client information and customer service officers
  6. Business services and administrative managers
  7. Accountant and auditors
  8. Material handling and stock clerks
  9. General and operations managers
  10. Postal service clerks

If you have talented employees with careers on the list it’s probably time for you to start taking action to retain them or risk losing them to other employers as they seek out more secure positions.

So how do you help them future proof their careers? I could have given you the list of the 10 emerging careers from the same report but I don’t want you to encourage people to choose a career based on that criteria because it could also be subject to future changes and they’ll find themselves out of work again. Plus, it’s unlikely to give them a dream career, more like a job that pays the bills. 

What you need to do is show them how to do a career pivot so they can create a career that is future proof because it’s not impacted by changes in the world they can’t control.

If you’ve ever watched a dancer then you’ll have seen a pivot in action. It means to “move your body around a central point to go in a new direction”. I’m a ballroom dancer and over the years I’ve been taught that a successful pivot requires 5 things:

You start with a solid core and good alignment. You then decide on a new direction and take advantage of leverage to create momentum. That way you can use a small amount of effort to achieve a big shift.

Doing a career pivot involves the same 5 steps.  

Step 1: Core Every dancer needs a solid core, which is another way of saying stomach muscles. When it comes to your career your core is in the same place: it’s your gut instinct. This isn’t a logical process, there are no perfect answers, but I do know that a strong core is made up of 5 key dimensions: Drivers, Beliefs, Values, Identities, Priorities. If you want a career to have a strong core every individual needs to define what those criteria are for them not just go along with what other people tell them they should be.  

Step 2: Alignment To successfully pivot the 5 dimensions of your core must be aligned. Without your body in alignment you will probably wobble and lose balance. The same is true for any career. You might take on a different career but quickly find that it isn’t a good fit. You need to understand how aligned you are now and take steps to improve your alignment if you want to make your pivot easier.

Step 3: Direction A pivot doesn’t need to be big but it does need to have a clear direction or you will waste time and energy. Setting your direction starts with understanding where you are now, why it isn’t working and then deciding where you want to head next. There is more than one way to pivot, so far I’ve come up with over a dozen options I suggest to clients.

Step 4: Leverage A dancer doesn’t pivot from a standing start. That uses a lot of effort for not much result. They use the leverage of other steps leading up to the pivot to help them move. That way they can turn further with less effort. The same technique works for your career pivot. You need to leverage your existing skills, experiences and contacts to help you pivot. Most of my clients know there are aspects of their current career they can use in a new career, they just need to know how to leverage them more effectively so they get big results from a small effort.

Step 5: Momentum Now that you’re moving you need to keep the momentum going. A good pivot uses small steps not giant strides because they can’t be maintained. It also considers the obstacles that might get in the way so you don’t give up when it gets hard. Like dancing, those obstacles are usually other people! You can’t rely on motivation alone to give you momentum because we all know that fades quickly. What you need is a support system to help you. Just like a ballroom dancer has a partner to rely on, you also need the right partner.


The good news is that doing a pivot does not necessarily mean making a big career change. A pivot could allow them to stay with their current employer and simply move to a different part of the organisation. Once they learn the skills of pivoting they can use them again and again as they need them.

So if you find yourself in danger of losing talented people due to technology show them apply the pivot process to ensure their next move gives them a future proof career. Want to know more? Check out my Dream Career Program where I show you step by step how to apply the pivot process.

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