Advance your career each day. Here is how.

Where do you want to be in five years time? According to Forbes magazine that is not necessarily the right question. Who knows if a specific job, company, or market will even exist in 2022? Better than to worry about the future, is to concentrate on improving your career each day.

Picture: Jakub Jirsák /

Forbes quotes Alan Colberg, CEO of Assurant, provider of targeted specialized insurance products, with the following advice:

Never stop improving

Employers value people who are comfortable with change. Increase your skills by continually seeking out new experiences. Look honestly at the areas where you have the least expertise or experience and confront them head-on.

Colberg writes: “While early in my career I had no idea I would become the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, I did realize I needed to become more at ease socially. So I forced myself out of my comfort zone and got involved in public speaking – a skill that is essential to my role today.”

Pursue your passion

Focus on activities you love and give you positive energy rather than on those that drag you down. Be honest with yourself about what you really enjoy, and make this a conscious part of your daily decision-making.

Colbert comments: “I enjoy education and learning. So while I worked for Bain & Co., I volunteered as a trainer in almost every learning program the company offered. Not only was I able to help others, but I learned a great deal as well.”

Cultivate personal relationships

Networking and grooming personal relationships are essential to creating employment opportunities.

Colbert says: “Small group or one-on-one lunches offer me the chance to meet new people both internally and externally, build and maintain my network, and gain different perspectives that help me make decisions in both my career and personal life. And if I’m travelling, I make it a point to meet and catch up with one or two people I know in whatever city I’m in.”

Make a difference

“I once was chairman of the board of trustees of a school. Each year I would have the opportunity to speak to the students about their future,” explains Cobert. “My central message was this: No matter where you go in life, be a difference maker. Whatever you do, make it better than it would be if you weren’t involved.”

Read more at Fortune

Barbara Bierach