Future-proofing your career is about establishing a digital personality that meets your audience long before you do.
Future-proofing your event career starts by acknowledging that our society has gone through a massive disruption that’s changed almost everything we do, from how we shop to how we gather, celebrate, meet, and market.
Absent from our usually busy days, we were forced to look hard at ourselves, our careers, and our chosen path. Confronted by the fragility of life, we’ve evolved our values, and today, “quality of life” is more important than capturing every dollar, chasing every opportunity, or missing your children growing up.
Those core values determine the people you work with, the partners you seek out, and the brands you engage with. This is essential learning because the community, the market, and your clients feel the same way. They aren’t interested in attending events, supporting causes, or working with individuals, companies, or brands that don’t align with their values. They’re looking at your social media content and engagement habits to make that decision.
The next few years will be a rollercoaster ride for the event industry, making it more important than ever to stay relevant to the experiences the market demands.
Still, I believe future-proofing is not about technology, digital event experiences, virtual reality, or the metaverse.
It’s about you, or at least the digital you.
The digital ‘personality’ you craft today will determine who you work with tomorrow, how much you can charge, and ultimately how successful you will be. It will limit you or position you to take advantage of opportunities you can’t possibly see today.
This isn’t about cancelling culture; it’s about being responsible for what you say, the words you choose, and how you treat people. It’s about you, your reputation, expertise, creativity, and the network of people who support, endorse and ultimately validate you.
You might hate social media and see it as intrusive, fake, or dangerous, but these platforms are here to stay, and who you are online is every bit as important as the quality of your work. Future-proofing your career is about creating a digital personality that’s smart, open to conversations without agendas, empathetic to others, humble but confident, creative, ambitious, and an expert in your chosen field.
The goal is to create a personal brand that attracts clients, is trusted, qualified, and, most importantly, shares its core values.
Craft your personality like you would a character in a story, then build the content around that character, but don’t exaggerate too much about who you are because, eventually, you’ll have to meet. If the photo doesn’t match the face, that’ll be the last date, even if you do manage to consummate the deal.
That’s why It’s important to be as authentic as possible. Don’t talk about places you’ve never been, things you’ve never accomplished, or skills you don’t have. Instead, highlight the very best of you. Tell us about you, your opinions, and what you stand for. Leverage storytelling and shared experiences, brag about your success, and be human enough to admit to your failures. Most importantly, listen to the conversations that are happening all around you.
“False expectations will doom the best of intentions in business and love”
Building the digital you is not just about the content you post; it’s about every engagement, from your comment on someone else’s post to the attention you give when you like or share content. You might be reading this thinking you’re too old or too out of touch, but you’d be wrong. Past mistakes, failures, age, or little technical understanding of social media are not barriers to success. It’s about how hard you want to work, how well you know people, how creative you are, and how good a storyteller you are, and all of these things can be learned.
I was 47 when l first dug into LinkedIn (right after Microsoft bought them), and today, I’ve built the most significant niche following of corporate event professionals anywhere. I had zero experience with social media, and I’m no techie; I worked hard to become an expert because I valued the investment.
So, get started building your digital personality today. It’s way more important than you know.
Get to know Jason Koop by following him on LinkedIn.