Present-Proofing Your Future

  • March 13, 2020
  • Wendy Lund, RN, BScN, MSc in Mindfulness Studies

Present-Proofing Your Future

“Map out your future—but do it in pencil.” – Jon Bon Jovi

The notion of future-proofing your career is really a present-based practice of understanding where you are right now and what you must do to remain relevant as life and business change. Whether you are just beginning your career, with decades of “future” ahead of you, or nearing the end of your work-life, preparing for what you believe lies ahead while remaining grounded in the present will allow you to be strategic about your career and meet your goals.

Back to the Future

So how do you go about predicting the future? In 1993, AT&T brought together a team of research scientists and engineers to forecast what life would be like in 25 years. Its “You Will” campaign saw a future where we could have video calls with business partners and loved ones, sit on a beach and send a fax to anywhere in the world, use technology to run our homes remotely, get directions from our cars’ dashboards, and more. For the most part, what they envisioned has come to pass.

While no one can foretell the future with certainty, it may be wise to consider more carefully the predictions you are hearing from legal experts, and start sharpening your skills accordingly.

The Power of Now

“Future”-proofing your career, however, is a bit of a misnomer because any predictions are still best guesses. It is really “present”-proofing to ensure your future career, as what you do now is what will give rise what you do in the future. Like dominos, the actions and energy of your first step are what compounds into greater power down the line.

As so, if your future success is grounded in today, the importance of mindfulness increases. Mindfulness emphasizes a present-moment awareness that does not preclude your remembering past experiences or considering strategies for the future. In fact, it’s necessary and vital that we don’t negate the past or the future while we cultivate mindfulness. You are performing a balancing act of remaining in the present moment while revisiting past lessons learned (without staying there to ruminate in negative thoughts and feelings) and planning what you can do today to create your best self tomorrow (without worrying about what may come).

By creating this growth mindset with a backdrop of cognitive flexibility that allows you to move easily into new ways of being and contributes to your capacity to cope and grow as life around you changes quickly, you will be able to keep moving forward, whether the future brings opportunities or challenges. Indeed, the best laid plans mean nothing if you don’t have your mental health.

As you consider what you’ll need to do in order to future-proof your career, do as Jon Bon Jovi suggests in the quote at the top of the article. Use a pencil. Preferably one with an eraser on it. There is likely nothing more critical to preparing for your future career than keeping your mind agile, flexible and ready to adapt to change.

Wendy Lund is CEO/Founder of Wellth Management (, a firm that works collaboratively with organizations to help foster psychological safety and wellbeing in the workplace. With more than three decades of experience, Wendy understands the biology of stress and resiliency. Her vision is to help others redefine wealth in their workplace and lives, which she shares through workshops and in print.